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St. Vincent’s University Hospital Launches New Guide to Safe Swallowing and Easy Eating

9th November 2017

On the 9th November, the Dietetics and Speech and Language Therapy Departments at St. Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) launched a best practice national guide for safe swallowing and easy eating for patients, their carers and other health professionals.

The purpose of the new guide is to educate patients, their carers and other health professionals on how to enable patients who have been diagnosed with swallowing difficulties to eat and drink safely.

Speaking at the launch of the booklet, Ms. Fionnuala Duffy, Head of Speech and Language Therapy at SVUH said:

The staff in both departments have put a lot of work into ensuring this latest edition of our booklet is as user friendly as possible. The booklet has also achieved a NALA plain English check.  ”

This patient and carer information booklet is for use nationally and internationally.

This launch is also to mark the fact that SVUH is changing its thickening product on Tuesday 21st November to Nutilis clear. This involves hospital wide training for all ward staff, revision of all swallowing care plans, thickening guidelines etc.

The Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) commended St. Vincent’s University Hospital for the development of this important resource for patients and carers.

Each year, approximately one in 25 adults will experience a swallowing problem (Bhattacharyya, 2014). Dysphagia cuts across so many diseases and age groups; its true prevalence in adult populations is not fully known and is often underestimated –approx. 45% of stroke patients, 80% of Parkinson’s patients, 68% of nursing home residents, 22% of adults over 50yrs.  With individual diet and speech and language theray care plans patients can experience more comfort when eating and drinking. The introduction of this booklet will enhance patients’ quality of life by increasing their understanding of how to manage their condition.

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