Swallowing Awareness Day #swallowaware2018

Esther Clift is a Consultant Practitioner in Frailty and Chair of Wessex BGS, as well as the Vice Chair of the BGS Nurses and AHP Council. She tweets as @EstherClift

The Royal College of Speech and Language (RCSLT) held a Symposium on dysphagia to work collaboratively at a system wide level in order to improve patient care, safety and outcomes for adults with dysphagia. The current prevalence data was presented in conjunction with NHS Improvement and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. Kamini Gadhok, MBE, the CEO for the RCSLT opened the symposium.

Dysphagia is a significant issue for patient safety. The reality of choking and asphyxia is firmly on the agenda since some high stake cases in February 2015, over ‘a risk of death from asphyxiation by accidental ingestion of fluid/food thickening powder.’ Continue reading

Treating dysphagia: understanding the need for training

5328790665_b4a675915d_oHelen Willis is a Dietitian at Wiltshire Farm Foods: in this blog she looks at caring for older people with dysphagia, and the importance of proper training

It is often the case that with such a media and governmental focus on health issues such as obesity, other nutritional issues get pushed aside and given little focus. One example is the very common swallowing condition, dysphagia.

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Dysphagia awareness: looking back

8503846614_ea4c647fbb_mOlivia Hallam is a third year Speech and Language Therapy student at De Montfort University, Leicester. She recently ran a dysphagia awareness campaign alongside two of her course-mates (Rosa Holden and Joanne White). Having spent five days on a soft consistency diet, she summarises her experience here.

Firstly, it didn’t match up to any of my preconceptions. I started the week concerned about loss of appetite and a limited social life. In reality I found myself gasping for a glass of un-thickened water, savouring the thinness of my morning mouthwash and resisting the urge to check the seasoning of my food before blending. But it really wasn’t all doom and gloom; I enjoyed experimenting with vibrant flavours and found that this compensated for the limited range of textures and I can honestly say that I didn’t feel hungry once.

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Dysphagia Awareness Campaign

Olivia Hallam, Rosa Holden and Joanne White are third year Speech and Language Therapy students from De Montfort University. Here they explain their participation in a campaign to increase awareness of dysphagia.

We will be spending five days following a sponsored ‘modified diet’ to raise awareness of swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). This means that we will only be eating ‘soft consistency’ foods (mainly purée, with added examples of a fork-mashable diet) and drinking thickened fluids (to Stage 1, Syrup consistency). . This is because, as speech and language therapists, we often work with people with dysphagia and have realised that both the level awareness and availability of resources are low.

See our short promotional video here where we explain more:

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November issue of Age and Ageing journal out now

The November 2013 issue of Age and Ageing, the journal of the British Geriatrics Society is out now.

A full table of contents is available here, with editorials, research papers, reviews, short reports, case reports book reviews and more. Hot topics this issue include:

  • Screening for dementia
  • Cancer screening in later life
  • Diagnostic accuracy of temperature measurement
  • Dysphagia in patients with hip fracture
  • The Cochrane Collaboration and Geriatric Medicine

The Editor’s Pick can be read here.

This issue’s free access papers are: