New Dysphagia elearning resources now available


Health Education England elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh) have worked in partnership with Health Education England, Specialist Pharmacy Service, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative and clinical experts to develop a new elearning session on Dysphagia and Medicines for carers and care home staff.

Dysphagia, which is difficulty chewing and/or swallowing food and drinks, has serious implications for a person’s health and wellbeing, with increased likelihood of chest infections, malnutrition, dehydration, choking incidents and hospitalisations. Patients with dysphagia may be unable to swallow their medicines safely.

About the Dysphagia elearning programme

The Dysphagia e-learning programme has been designed to support knowledge and understanding of the management of dysphagia, specifically in the context of a care home environment. The sessions will also be useful to those supporting people with dysphagia in other environments, including hospital and community settings.

Care home workers, including managers, nurses, care workers, catering staff and the wider NHS team, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, speech and language therapists, dietitians, and others working with patients with dysphagia will find this resource helpful.

The new session focuses on Dysphagia and Medicines. It describes how patients with swallowing difficulties may need changes to their medicines in order to take them safely, and the actions that carers and care home staff need to take.

The session includes sections on who to contact, what information to collect and describes the different ways patients may be advised to take medicines; including when and how to crush tablets or open capsules and when liquid medicines might be preferred. It includes advice on giving medicines with soft food or thickened fluids.

In response to feedback on existing sessions, dysphagia assessments have been added for health and care workers and for catering staff. The assessments aim to help learners to use evidence as part of achieving dysphagia competencies, as outlined in the Eating Drinking and Swallowing Competency Framework.

The elearning resources are free for the NHS workforce, carers, catering staff and AHPs, and they have been designed to be easy to use.

To learn more please visit the Dysphagia programme page.