Biography of Penny Gravill:

My name is Penny Gravill and I set up The Specialist Speech Therapy Practice having worked for many years within the NHS and as a sole independent practitioner.

I qualified as a Speech and Language therapist (SLT) 30 years ago and I’m HCPC registered.  I am also a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP) and RCSLT advisor in the area of facial palsy.

My career started with a generalist post gaining experience in children’s communication problems as well as adult SLT work.  I then moved into adult work in stroke rehabilitation before choosing to specialise in the field of neurosciences in 1994. I began doing independent work in 2007 with The Lindens Clinic treating facial palsy and continue to work in both the NHS as well as in independent practice. The value of the multidisciplinary team and working with other specialisms as well as the family/carers cannot be underestimated in both settings.

In partnership with The Lindens Clinic, I lead their London Facial Palsy Clinics 4 times a year. I also participate in regular Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and collaborative working in Manchester with the rest of the specialist facial palsy team. 

In London, The Specialist Speech Therapy Practice works in collaboration with a specialist independent neuro-rehab company, Linguistic Resolutions Ltd, led by SLT Sally Ghibaldan.  This allows us to offer our patients the most tailored and expert treatment options available.

I have an active interest in undergraduate training and worked as a clinical educator and examiner for the University of Ulster from 2006- 2014. 

I am actively involved in ongoing facial palsy research projects in conjunction with colleagues at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and lead a support group for people with facial palsy “F@cevalue” in Aberdeen as well as a FacialPalsy UK support group in Edinburgh.

Biography of Shaunagh Farragher:

My name is Shaunagh Farragher and I was delighted to become an associate of Specialist Speech Therapy Practice in 2019. I am a registered member of the HCPC and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and have studied at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.  I was awarded an honours degree in Psychology from the University of Aberdeen and following a couple of years of travelling, I then went on to complete a Masters (MSc) in Speech and Language Therapy at the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

My clinical career started in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where I worked in various teams including the stroke team and neurosciences team. During my time there, I worked with Penny Gravill and began my training in the assessment and management of facial nerve palsy which has since become a specialist area of interest for me. Working with Penny, I gained invaluable experience assessing and managing cases of facial palsy arising from a wide range of conditions, (e.g. Bell’s palsy, Acoustic Neuroma etc.) and was involved in the running of the F@cevalue support group in Aberdeen.

I relocated to Belfast in 2019 in order to be closer to family and have since been based in the Belfast HSC Trust working in the acute care services, including the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre. I am looking forward to starting a clinic in Northern Ireland and continuing my work supporting and helping people with Facial Nerve Palsy.