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Dr Celia Harding receives RCSLT Fellowship Award
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Dr Celia Harding receives Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy Fellowship

City lecturer receives award at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy Honours Awards 2018

by Shamim Quadir

Dr Celia Harding is a speech and language therapist (SLT), lecturer and researcher at City. She received her Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy (RCSLT) Fellowship at this year's Honours Awards in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of the profession, both as an academic and a practicing speech and language therapist.

Dr Harding teaches on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at the University, and collaborates on joint research projects with therapists and nurses within the NHS, and internationally.

Prior to her transition into academia in 2004, Dr Harding led a community team providing speech and language therapy for infants at risk of developmental disorders. She has since continued in a part-time clinical post at the Royal Free Hospital, where she was awarded Clinician of the Year in 2016, and has had 32 years unbroken service with the NHS.

Dr Harding’s main areas of research have been in the areas of learning disability and dysphagia (swallowing problems). This includes a focus on investigating typical strategies used by speech and language therapists in dysphagia practice.

She has forged a long-lasting relationship with the Westminster Learning Disability Partnership and The Advocacy Project, being innovative in developing learning opportunities where service users with learning disabilities are active teachers in delivering curriculum content to speech and language therapy students.

Dr Harding is also the sole speech and language therapy committee member of the NICE Guidelines for Follow up of preterm Babies, and has been a RCSLT advisor in paediatric dysphagia for many years.

Speaking about her award, Dr Harding said,

I am honoured to receive the Fellowship of the RCSLT. I have had an honorary contract at both the Royal Free Hospitals NHS Trust neonatal units since 2004 alongside my City, University of London work. Much of my work has been about introducing oral feeding to premature infants. I believe that this award does not just recognise my achievements, but also the other speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, neonatal nurses and doctors who have worked with me.

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