North Tyneside CCG News

Care workers learn more about global initiative to improve safety for people with dysphagia

Fri 12th October 2018

People working across the care and education sector from North Tyneside gathered on Tuesday, October 16, to learn more about the new worldwide standards for dysphagia diet descriptors.

Care workers were invited to attend the conference to learn more about the new International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) framework, which will be implemented in April 2019.

IDDSI aims to improve the safety of more than 500 million people worldwide with swallowing difficulties, known as dysphagia, and reduce risks associated with choking on food and aspirating on liquids.

Dysphagia is a medical term for swallowing difficulties. Some people with dysphagia have problems swallowing certain foods or liquids, while others can’t swallow at all.

IDDSI has developed standardised terminology in 28 languages for texture modified foods and thickened liquids.

Hosted by Gary Brailsford, chef and founder of Dining with Dignity and dysphagia chef for Nestle Health Science, supported by local speech and language therapists and dieticians, the event aims to help care workers, home managers, nurses, teachers and kitchen staff to:

  • Understand the new IDDSI framework and how it applies to their workplace
  • Understand the importance of texture modified diets for those with dysphagia
  • Improving patient/client satisfaction by taste/ appearance of texture modified diets
  • Improve patient /client safety by providing suitable diet textures
  • Provide evidence for CQC requirements for specialised diets

During the session, Gary Brailsford, talked about nutrition, preparation, cooking and presentation of meals for clients requiring a dysphagia diet.

Ruth Marshall, Clinical Quality Lead Nurse NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The new worldwide standard for dysphagia support will replace the current UK national descriptors that came out in 2011.

“The framework will increase patient safety by standardising labelling and food categories between care settings and countries, reducing choking deaths and other complications that can easily occur.

“The international initiative needs to be fully adopted by April 2019 so it’s important that all care providers ensure that their staff are trained and ready for the change.”

The IDDSI was developed by a group of volunteers worldwide from professions including speech pathology, nutrition and dietetics, medicine, occupational therapy, nursing, patient safety, engineering, and food science and technology.