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Voice Care

Voice Clinics in UK

Voice Clinics in UK


Quick guide and information booklet provided by The British Voice Association.

Below you will find a list of National Health Service voice clinics for your information and to enable you to locate a clinic close to your home. Many clinics are able to take referrals for patients who do not live within their local catchment area, provided the referral is made by a GP or another ENT Consultant. However, rules may vary between districts. Voice treatment from a Speech and Language Therapist will need to be arranged in the district where you live, or where your GP works, and again individual Health Authorities have different rules. We recommend you seek advice from your GP to clarify local agreements and referral policies.

Clinics are listed A-Z by town/city (clinic locations within major cities identified by post code area) with NHS telephone numbers.


NHS Voice Clinics

Voice Clinic, Ward 45, ENT Dept, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen
Tel: 01224 552117

Ashton under Lyne
Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Tameside General Hospital, Fountain Street, Ashton under Lyne, OL6 9RW
Tel: 0161 331 6469

The Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Stoke Mandeville Hospital NHS Trust, Mandeville Road, Aylesbury, HP21 8AL  Tel: 01296 315771

Bangor (North Wales)
Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Penrhosgarnedd, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2PW
Tel: 01248 385356 or 01248 384232.

Barnsley (South Yorkshire)
Combined Voice Clinic, Barnsley Hospital, Gawber Road, Barnsley S75 2EP
Tel: 01226 730000

Voice Clinic, c/o ENT Department, Basildon Hospital, Basildon, SS16 5NL
Tel: 01268 598503

Voice Clinic, Bedford Hospital, Kempston Road, Bedford, MK42 9DJ
Tel: 01234 355122

The Voice Clinic (Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast), c/o Mrs Catherine Stewart or Mrs Eimear McCrory,
Speech & Language Therapy Dept, Wing K, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7AB
Tel: 02890 638090 (Mr Black ’s Secretary)


Multidisciplinary Voice & Swallowing Disorders Clinic, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Bordesley Green East, Birmingham B9 5SS
Tel: 0121 424 3350

Voice Clinics. ENT Department. Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Mindelsohn Way, Birmingham B15 2WB
Tel: 0121 371 4680 ENT Secretary, 0121 371 3483 Speech & Language Therapy Department

The Voice Clinic, ENT Department, City Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham B18 7QH
Tel: 0121 554 3801 ext: 5110, 0121 507 4475

Bradford (West Yorkshire)
Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Duckworth Lane, Bradford BD9 6RJ
Tel: 07984 479937

Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton BN2 5BE
Tel: 01273 696955 EXT 4812


The Voice Clinic, ENT Department, St Michael’s Hospital, University Hospitals Bristol,
Southwell Street, Bristol BS2 8EG
Tel: 0117 3425871, 0117 3421833 and 0117 3421088

Bury St Edmunds
Joint ENT/Voice Clinic, West Suffolk Hospital, Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 2QZ
Tel: 01284 713303

Voice Clinic, Department of Otolaryngology, Clinic 10, Box 48, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Hills Road,
Cambridge CB2 2QQ
Tel: 01223 257230

East Kent Hospitals Voice Clinic, Speech & Language Therapy Dept, The Kent & Canterbury Hospital,
Ethelbert Road, Canterbury, Kent CT1 3NG
Tel: 01227 597015

The Voice Clinic, ENT Dept, Suite 9, Outpatients Department, University Hospital of Wales,
Heath Park, Cardiff, South Glamorgan CF14 4XW
Tel: 029 20 743012 (SLT); 029 20 743174 (ENT)

Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Cheltenham General Hospital, Sandford Road, Cheltenham GL53 7AN
Tel: 0300 422 4120

Joint Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Countess of Chester Hospital, Liverpool Road, Chester, CH2 1UL
Tel: 01244 366322 (ENT), 01244 365235 (Speech & language Therapy)

ENT Department, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Calow, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S44 5BL
Tel: 01246 512098 (ENT); 01246 512080 (SLT)

Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Essex County Hospital, Colchester C03 3NB
Tel: 01206 744015 or 07791 266523

Voice Clinic, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Clifford Bridge Rd, Coventry CV2 2DX
Tel: 02476 965709 or 02476 961010 for speech & language therapy information

Voice Pathology Clinic, Crawley Hospital, West Green Drive, Crawley RH11 7DH
Tel: 01293 600337

ENT Department, Leighton Hospital, Middlewich Road, Crewe, Cheshire CW1 4QJ
Tel: 01270 612297 (ENT), 01270 612342 (Speech Therapy)

Voice Clinic, Speech & Language Therapy Dept, Darlington Memorial Hospital, Darlington DL3 6HX
Tel: 01325 743789 or 07810 855767

Derby Voice Clinic, ENT Clinic, Head & Neck Unit, Kings Treatment Centre, Royal Derby Hospital, Uttoxeter Road, Derby DE22 3NE
Tel: 01332 783182/01332 787539

Doncaster Voice Disorders Clinic, ENT Dept, Doncaster Royal Infirmary DN2 5LT
Tel: 01302 642417 (Secretary); 01302 366666 ext 3178 (Speech Therapy)

Multidisciplinary Voice and Swallowing Disorder Clinic, Dept of Otolaryngology
Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY
Tel: 01382 632724

Dumfries and Galloway
The Voice Clinic, The Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Bankend Rd, Dumfries DG1 4AP
Tel: 01387 246246

The Voice Clinic, ENT Department, University Hospital of North Durham, North Road, Durham, DH1 5TW
Tel: 01325 380100 ext: 3270

Exeter, Devon
Joint Voice Clinic, Speech & Language Therapy Dept, Area J, Level 0, Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW
Tel: 01392 402489

Voice Clinic, ENT Dept, Lauriston Building, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9HA
Tel: 0131 536 3745

Voice Clinic, Frimley Park Hospital, Portsmouth Road, Frimley, Surrey GU9 7UJ
Tel: 01276 604015

The Medway Voice Clinic, Medway NHS Trust, Medway Maritime Hospital, Windmill Road, Gillingham,
Kent ME7 5NY
Tel: 01634 825054


Voice Clinic, Gartnavel General Hospital, Great Western Road, Glasgow G12 0YN
Tel: 0141 211 3212

The Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Alexandra Parade, Glasgow G31 2ER
Tel: 0141 211 0484

Voice Clinic, ENT Dept, Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow G51 4TF
Tel:0141 451 6598

Halton (Runcorn and Widnes)

Voice Clinic, ENT Dept, Halton Hospital, Hospital Way, Runcorn, WA7 2DA
Tel: 01928 593 765 (information on the clinic). For appointment enquiries, call 01928 753084

Combined Voice Clinic, Northwick Park Hosp, Watford Rd, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3UJ
Tel: 020 8 869 2410

Voice Clinic, Conquest Hospital, St Leonards On Sea, East Sussex TN37 7RD
Tel: 01424 758200

Hertfordshire Voice Clinic, ENT Dept, Hertford County Hospital, North Road, Hertford SG14 1LP.
Tel: 01992 823013

Hull (Kingston-upon)
Voice Clinics, ENT Outpatients, Centenary Building, Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham Rd, Hull HU16 5JQ
Tel: 01482 624701

Raigmore Voice Clinic, Raigmore Hospital, Old Perth Road, Inverness IV2 3UJ
Tel: 01463 705361

Voice Clinic, Ipswich Hospital, c/o Tracey Weller, Speech and Language Therapy Dept, Ipswich Hospital,
Heath Rd, Ipswich IP4 5PD
Tel: 01473 703118 or 01473 703503

ENT Department, West Middlesex University Hospital, Twickenham Road, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 6AF
Tel: 0208 630 3626 (Mon-Wed)

Kettering (Northants)
Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Kettering General Hospital, Rothwell Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN16 8UZ
Tel: 01536 492274, 01536 492277

Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Ashton Road, Lancaster LA1 4RP
Tel: 01524 512393

The Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Leeds General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX
Tel: 0113 392 6617/ 8165/ 8120

The Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE1 5WW
Tel: 0116 2585643

Joint Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals, Broadgreen Hospital, Alexandra Wing, Thomas Drive, Liverpool L14 3LB
Tel: 0151 706 3519, 0151 706 2703

Maxillofacial Department, Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant CF72 8XR
No telephone number supplied


The Voice Clinic, c/o Speech and Language Therapy, The Wellington Hospital, Wellington Place, London, NW8 6LE
Tel: 020 7 915 1497 or via Wellington switchboard 020 7 586 5959

Combined Voice Clinic, ENT Dept, 3rd Floor, Southwark Wing, Guy’s Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London Bridge, London SE1 9RT
Tel: 020 7 188 2195

SE13 (Lewisham)
Lewisham Voice Clinic, Lewisham Hospital, Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6LH
Tel: 020 8 333 3000 ext: 3191

SW17 (Tooting)
Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Lanesborough Wing, St George’s Hospital, Blackshaw Road,
Tooting, London SW17 0QT
Tel: 020 8 725 3246

City Voice Clinic, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, 3rd Floor ENT Outpatients Department, Outpatient Building , West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE
Tel: 020 3594 1207 (Secretary), 020 3594 1125, 020 3465 5911 (Speech & Language Therapists)

EN5 (Barnet)
Royal Free London Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Barnet Hospital, Wellhouse Lane, Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN5 3DJ
Tel: 0208 375 2460 (EXT 52460) Secretary

Royal National Laryngology Clinic, Professorial Unit, Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital, 330 Gray’s Inn Rd, London, WC1X 8DA
Professor Birchall (there is more than one voice clinic at this address). Tel: 020 7 915 1307.

Voice Clinic, Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, 330 Gray’s Inn Road, WC1X 8DA
Tel: 0203 456 5180

The Joint Paediatric Voice Clinic, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust,
Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH
Tel: 020 7 813 8110

The Voice Clinic, Box 127, The National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG.
Tel: 0203 448 3385

Joint Voice Clinic, ENT Dept, 1st Floor, Charing Cross Hosp, Fulham Palace Rd, London W6 8RF
Tel: 020 8 846 1071 OR 020 8 846 1761 (SLT Department)

The Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Lewsey Road, Luton LU4 0DZ
Tel: 01582 497275, 01582 497049


Voice Clinic, University of Manchester, Otolaryngological Dept, Manchester Royal Infirmary,
Oxford Road, Manchester M3 9WL
Tel: 0161 276 4639

North Manchester Adult & Paediatric Voice Clinic, North Manchester General Hospital,
Delaunays Road, Crumpsall, Manchester M8 5RB
Tel: 0161 627 8261

Voice Clinic Services, Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9LT
Tel: 0161 291 2864

Milton Keynes
ENT Department, Milton Keynes Hospital, Standing Way, Milton Keynes MK6 5LD
Tel: 01908 996751

Newcastle upon Tyne
Voice Clinic, Freeman Hospital, Freeman Road, Newcastle NE7 7DN
Tel: 0191 213 7646

Newport (South Wales)
ENT Department, Royal Gwent Hospital, Cardiff Road, Newport, South Wales NP20 2UB
Tel: 01633 234145

Newton Abbot
Joint Voice Clinic, Newton Abbot Hospital, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 4PT
Tel: 01626 354321

Voice Clinic, C/o Mr Julian McGlashan, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Queen’s Medical Centre Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham NG7 2UH
Tel: 0115 9249924 Ext: 63933

ENT Dept, Level LG1, West Wing, John Radcliffe Hosp, Headley Way, Oxford, OX2 9DU
Tel: 01865 231060

Peterborough City Hospital Voice Clinic, Department Of Otolaryngology, Head, Neck, Thyroid Surgery , Peterborough City Hospital, Edith Cavell Campus, Bretton Gate, Peterborough PE3 9GZ
Tel: 01733 6767002

Department of ENT, Level 7, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Devon PL6 8DH
Tel: 01752 431502

Poole & Bournemouth
ENT Department, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole BH15 2JB
Tel: 01202 442205

Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO6 3LY
Tel: Central Booking ENT

Voice Clinic, ENT Dept, Royal Preston Hospital, Sharoe Green Lane North, Preston PR2 9HT
Tel: 01772 522074

Rhyl, Denbighshire
ENT Outpatients, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, Rhyl, Denbighshire LL18 5UJ
Tel: 01745 534259

Rotherham Multidisciplinary Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Rotherham General Hospital, Moorgate Road, Rotherham S60 2UD
Tel: 01709 424558 (Mr Richards’ Sec), 01709 427015 (Speech and Language Therapy Dept).

Dysphonia Clinic, Dept of Ear, Nose & Throat Surgery, Salford Royal Hospital, Stott Lane, Salford M6 8HD
Tel: 0161 206 4758

ENT Department, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury SP2 8BJ
Tel: 01722 425209

Sheffield (South Yorkshire)
Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield S10 2JF
Tel: 0114 2712221

Voice Clinic, Clinic 4, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Mytton Oak Rd, Shrewsbury SY3 8XQ
Tel: 01743 261322

East Berkshire Joint Voice Clinic, Wexham Park Hospital, Wexham Street, Slough, Berks SL2 4HL
Tel: 01753 633510 (Speech Therapy)

ENT Department, Royal South Hants Hospital, Brinton’s Terrace, Off St Mary’s Road, Southampton SO14 0YG
Tel: 023 80 825794

Voice Care and Diagnostic Clinic, Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Hazel Grove, Stockport SK2 7JE
Tel: 02380 825836

Sunderland, Tyne & Wear
ENT Outpatients, Chester Wing, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Kayll Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR4 7TP
Tel: 0191 569 9009 (Speech and Language Therapy)

The Voice Clinic, Department of Otolaryngology, Morriston Hospital, Swansea SA6 6NL
Tel: 01792 205666 ext: 5139 or 01792 703766 (Speech & Language Therapy)

Swindon (and Marlborough)
The Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Great Western Hospital, Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6AA
Tel: 01793 604407/8

Wakefield Voice Clinic, Pinderfields General Hospital, Aberford Road, Wakefield WF1 4DG.
Tel: 01924 541182 (ENT) and 01924 543397 (Speech Therapy)

Dept. of ENT, Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan WN1 2NN
Tel: 01942 822546

Joint Voice Clinic, Department of ENT and Head & Neck Surgery, Wirral Teaching Hospital, Arrowe Park, Wirral CH49 5PE

Wishaw, Lanarkshire
Speech & Language Therapy, Wishaw General Hospital, 50 Netherton Street, Wishaw ML2 0DP
Tel: 01698 366423

Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Worthing General Hospital, Lyndhurst Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 2DH
Tel: 01903 205111 ext 84336

The Voice Clinic, ENT Department, Maelor Hospital, Croesnewydd Road, Wrexham LL13 7TD
Tel: 01978 823147/48/46

York Laryngology Clinic, c/o ENT Department, York Hospital, Wigginton Road, York YO31 8HE
Tel: 01904 725768


A printable version of this list,  along with which clinics will see private patients is available from British Voice Association, by clicking this link

Voice Problems

Voice Problems. At What Point To You Need To Rest Your Voice


  • Has your voice become hoarse or raspy?
  • Have you lost your ability to hit some high notes when singing?
  • Does your voice suddenly sound deeper?
  • Does your throat often feel raw, achy, or strained?
  • Has it become an effort to talk?
  • Do you find yourself repeatedly clearing your throat?
  • Do you feel as if you’re coming down with an infection?


Common causes for voice problems include:

Overwork or vocal misuse, such as too much singing, whispering or screaming.

Infections such as coughs, colds and sore throats.

Heartburn or acid reflux


Medical conditions

Use your voice wisely

  • Try not to overuse your voice. Avoid speaking or singing when your voice is hoarse or tired.
  • Rest your voice when you are sick. Illness puts extra stress on your voice.
  • Avoid using the extremes of your vocal range, such as screaming or whispering. Talking too loudly and too softly can both stress your voice.
  • Practice good breathing techniques when singing or talking. Support your voice with deep breaths from the chest, and don’t rely on your throat alone. Singers and speakers are often taught exercises that improve this kind of breath control. Talking from the throat, without supporting breath, puts a great strain on the voice.
  • Avoid cradling the phone when talking. Cradling the phone between the head and shoulder for extended periods of time can cause muscle tension in the neck.
  • Consider using a microphone when appropriate. In relatively static environments such as exhibit areas, classrooms, or exercise rooms, a lightweight microphone and an amplifier-speaker system can be of great help.
  • Avoid talking in noisy places. Trying to talk above noise causes strain on the voice.
  • Try to give your voice a ‘day-off’ once a week.  This means no talking, singing, taking calls,

Stay hydrated:

  • Drink plenty of water. Six to eight glasses a day is recommended.
  • Limit your intake of drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine, as these can cause the body to dehydrate and make the vocal folds and larynx dry. Alcohol also irritates the mucous membranes that line the throat.
  • Use a humidifier in your home. This is especially important in winter or in dry climates.
  • Avoid or limit use of medications that dry out the vocal folds, including some common cold and allergy medications. If you have voice problems, ask your doctor which medications would be safest for you to use.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet:

  • Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke. Smoke irritates the vocal folds. Also, cancer of the vocal folds is seen most often in individuals who smoke.
  • Avoid eating spicy foods. Spicy foods can cause stomach acid to move into the throat or oesophagus, causing heartburn
  • Include plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your diet. These foods contain vitamins which helps to keep the mucus membranes that line the throat healthy.
  • Wash your hands often to prevent getting infections such as colds or flu.
  • Get enough rest. Physical fatigue has a negative effect on voice.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise increases stamina and muscle tone. This helps provide good posture and breathing, which are necessary for proper speaking.
  • If you have persistent heartburn or reflux, talk to your doctor about diet changes or medications that can help reduce flare-ups.
  • Avoid mouthwash or gargles that contain alcohol or irritating chemicals. If you still wish to use a mouthwash that contains alcohol, limit your use to oral rinsing. If gargling is necessary, use a salt water solution.




Singing with a cold or sore throat free help and advice

Singing_with_coldSinging with a cold or sore throat  – free help and advice is here

We often get asked, should I sing with a cold or sore throat (or perhaps both!). The answer is simply NO – It’s not a good idea. You may not be happy with this answer, the reasons for which I will discuss below. However you must weigh up the importance of your gig against the possible damage to your voice. Whilst its not recommended you sing with a cold, sometimes, there is no option, So what can we do to make things easier, sound good & not cause damage to the voice?

1. Drink plenty of water before and during the performance. Sounds obvious, if your hydrated fully then your body will be less prone to the extra stress of a cold or sore throat. Isotonic drinks will give you more energy but don’t over use them. No alcohol or caffeine based drinks as these will dry out your mucus membranes & throat.  Keep milky drinks to a minimum, as they can cause your body to produce more mucous, especially in the throat area.

2. Use a throat spray or lozenges. You don’t want any more damage than necessary to your voice and throat membranes. Use a vocal throat spray or throat lozenge whichever suits you best.  Your pharmacist or doctor will be able to advice you on over-the-counter remedies available to you.

3. De-congest the nasal passages. Try regular steam inhalations with a couple of drops of eucalyptus, lavender or tea tree essential oils. If you have not done this sort of thing before please consult a health professional first, especially if you have a medical condition or pregnant. Always start with ONE drop first unless you are experienced with steam inhalations.       Herbal Teas may help or you can also make your own brew of Honey, Lemon and Grated Ginger into a mug of boiling water. Again your local pharmacist can advice you on  a good Decongestant if you needed something stronger

  4. Reduce the time singing. Can you cut back on the number of songs in your set. Play extra background music or talk more rather than sing?  See if can encourage a friend/band mate to help you sing or introduce the songs? Do you know another singer that you could introduce  into the performance . eg. someone who’s first starting out and your letting the audience know this. Usually the audience will be favourable to this. Restrict the encore to one song? Can you change your set so that you drop out the really hard or challenging vocals in a certain song? If you switch it for a less demanding song on your voice will your audience really notice?

5. Turn up the Mic and sing at a lower volume. If you are using a PA system, get this to carry more of the weight, rather than your voice.  Turn your music/band mates down a little, and turn up your microphone. Position your speakers to minimize the effect of feedback.  Not singing so loudly may help preserve your voice.

6. Reduce the Physical effort. Remember singing is quite energetic and demanding on your body. So think about the amount of time on stage and  how much movement you do during your act. Make sure as with point 1. that you are fully hydrated,

7. Read this article on Sore throat relief for singers & vocalists.

Why should I not sing with a cold or sore throat?

1. You are not going to feel 100% well, apart from feeling low and bunged up, your body is having to fight an infection.  Give yourself a rest to help your body recover

2. Voice strain.  Singing with a sore throat, excessive coughing or clearing your throat is going to make your vocal cords sore, causing a hoarse voice or loss of voice, which could possibly lead to:

3. Nodules.  Vocal nodules are basically callouses on your vocal cords, caused by poor technique, over-straining your vocal cords.  You will need complete vocal rest if these occur.

As you can see its not recommended you sing with a cold or sore throat, but there are some measures you can make to reduce the discomfort & make it through the performance, but please give you voice a complete rest for several days if you can.

If symptoms continue, please seek advice from your own Doctor.


Sore Throat Relief for Singers and Vocalists

Lady gets sore throat reliefSore Throat Relief for Singers and Vocalists (in fact anyone who is serious about keeping a healthy voice)

This guide is written primarily for the singer, but is useful to everyone who needs sore throat relief or suffers from a hoarse voice.

Our vocal cords are delicate membranes surrounded by muscle. These membranes need to come together solidly to create a clear sound. Sometime infection or over-use can cause these membranes to swell, resulting in hoarseness. Continued over-use, shouting, and even whispering can, over time, result in damage of the vocal cords, which needs medical attention.

Warm-up your voice before you start. You wouldn’t see an athlete tearing around the track without warming up their body first, so offer your voice the same consideration. It doesn’t take much effort.

• Start with a few deep, controlled breaths, followed by some humming.

• Hum your favourite song, if scales are not your thing.

• Use your voice to make a squeaky door being opened sound (use the ee sound to slide up and down your vocal range).

• Move onto singing some of your gentler songs, before you start tackling the belters.

• Also know your limits. Don’t try to sing too high, or too low until you are warmed up enough. Start at a comfortable range and extend from there.

Avoid abusing your voice throughout the day. Don’t talk for long periods of time – you will find your voice will get hoarse. Avoid whispering. This is stressful to your voice and will cause vocal fatigue. Do not shout over loud noises, such as machinery or concerts. I’ve know a few who have yelled at rock concerts, etc, and haven’t been able to sing for months afterwards. It’s just not worth it!   Talking for prolonged periods is also a hazzard for your voice. So many teachers, sales reps and call-centre staff end up having problems with their voice because of not taking care of their voice, or giving it enough rest to recover.

Vocal hydration is extremely important. Our cords are delicate membranes, which dry out very easily (especially when talking or singing in dry, smoky atmospheres). So drink plenty of water.  There are a number of sprays and lozenges on the market which can help. Also steam inhalation is good at getting moisture onto your cords.

Drinking – (alcohol that is!. We’ve all needed Dutch Courage at some point, but alcohol can lead to damage of your vocal cords. Huh? I hear you say. Alcohol numbs our nervous system, and helps lose our inhibitions. For example, Normally, when you’ve not had a drink, you know when your voice is tired, or when you have pushed your voice too far because you will feel discomfort in your throat. However, since you’ve had your drink, the alcohol can numb your throat, loosen your inhibitions, pushing your voice past its usual boundaries (this may take the form of shouting or singing too loud, too high, too low, or simply for too long a time period) and you can’t feel those warning signs. You wake up in the morning, with a sore head and no voice for several days (or in some cases several weeks!)

Smoking. There are no health benefits to smoking, so either cut down or stop completely. Smoking affects your lung capacity, irritates the membranes in the windpipe, resulting excessive mucus and a cough, which can inflame the vocal cords, as well as all the other health problems associated with smoking. That leads me onto recreational drugs – if drinking and smoking are bad – drugs are even worse. Don’t go there!

A few tips to help you recover from a sore throat:

1. REST!!

2. Drink plenty of Water.

3. Avoid Tea, Coffee, Cream & Alcohol

4. Take Vitamin C tablets or eat fruits/ vegetables rich in Vitamin C to aid your body’s natural defences. Hot Lemon & Honey or Blackcurrant both contain vitamin C and anti-viral properties and fresh ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties – grate a little ginger and add it to hot water, sweeten with honey if required.

5. Severe, violent coughing can injure the vocal cords. Cough Syrup, Throat Sprays and Lozenges can help.

6. Hot Water Steam Inhalation, with or without a few drops of Eucalyptus, Peppermint or other Essential Oil helps to clear the sinuses, and get moisture onto the vocal cords

7. Do NOT attempt to Sing and avoid Talking until you feel better to allow the inflammation an opportunity to reduce. This may be even take several weeks

8. On recovery start with some gentle humming for 5-10 minutes at a time and slowly build up to a few vocal exercises in your mid- range gradually expanding the range over several days. The rate of recovery will depend on the severity of illness and how experienced a singer you are. Any recurrence of hoarseness stop and rest the voice for another couple of days.

And Most Importantly – Take time out. We all need to have a break. You need a complete rest from singing at least once a week and I mean a complete rest. No practice, no singing along to your favourite records, no singing in the bath etc. Also if you done a hard day or long gig, then give your voice a rest the following day.

If symptoms continue, seek advice from your own Doctor.