Oncology Rehabilitation Manchester is a Speech Therapy service that provides care for clients before and after treatment for cancer, with specialism in head and neck cancer.
Led by Helen Rust, who qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist and graduated in Linguistics and Language Pathology BA (HONS) from Reading University in 1988. On moving to Manchester for her first appointment, dysphagia was a new discipline to the Speech Therapy profession at the time , and Helen was one of the first wave of Manchester speech therapists to be trained in adult swallowing disorders from centres such as the Whittington Hospital London. In the years that followed , Professor Jeri Logemann’s USA research and teaching visits on swallowing interventions were very influential to Helen’s practice , as she applied them to her surgical head and neck cancer patient caseload in South Manchester, and increasingly to oncology patients at the Christie Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Helen has been proactive in promoting, developing and improving speech and swallowing services to cancer patients in Greater Manchester during her 30 years in the NHS. She contributed to the NW region’s first multidisciplinary Allied Health Professional care pathway guidelines for Head & neck cancer in the 1990s and was Chair of the Special Interest group in Head and Neck cancer for Speech Therapists in the north of England 2000-2. She was part of the expert panel, which produced the UK Improving Outcomes Guidance for Head & Neck Cancer published in 2004. She has taught healthcare professionals widely in Manchester from ENB Cancer Foundation lectures for nurses to examining speech and language therapists attending the Advanced Dysphagia course at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Upper GI Imaging Masters module at Salford Uni. As Principal Speech and Language Therapist, Helen led and developed the Speech therapy service for the Christie NHS Foundation Trust 2005-2019. As a member of the Clinical Head and neck subgroup for the Manchester Cancer Network she led a Macmillan Innovation project in 2016 to pilot the delivery of early preventative swallowing intervention during chemoradiotherapy, which has changed local practice.
Special clinical interests
improving speech and swallowing outcomes in head and neck cancer, preventing swallowing difficulties through earlier intervention, speech and voice restoration after head and neck surgery
Helen is a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and an active member of their Clinical Excellence Network in Head & Neck Cancer North, which she chaired in 2000-02. She is a member of ASLTIP, Association of Speech and language Therapists in Independent Practice and is registered with the HCPC Healthcare Professionals Council.
Currently Associate Lecturer in Head and Neck cancer to Speech Pathology students at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Faculty lecturer to the Speech Therapy Head and Neck Fellowship programme at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India.