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21 September 2020

New bite-sized online learning resource launched to help health and care workers support people with dysphagia

A new bite-sized online learning resource designed to improve knowledge and understanding of dysphagia has been launched by the Speech and Language Therapy service at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Dysphagia is the medical term for people living with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. It can be caused by neurological illnesses such as strokes and Parkinson’s Disease.

The e-learning resource has been produced in partnership with Health Education England, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Cooperative and industry partners, and is available free on Health Education England’s online learning platform.

In addition to supporting care home staff such as managers, kitchen staff and care workers, the online guide is relevant to informal carers, people living with dysphagia and others in the health and care workforce.

The resource can be used by those working in the care profession to gain the relevant level of competency for their role as outlined in the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists’ Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Competency Framework. The resource is also a useful guide for managers in policy and workforce development.

The bite-sized learning resource is made up of five sessions that cover the following topics:

• Essentials
• Food
• Quality and Safety
• Training and Resources
• Workforce

Professor Sue Pownall, Head of Speech Language Therapy at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Dysphagia can have a huge effect on people’s lives, with those caring for people with the condition having to make specially adapted meals and drinks or having to learn how to provide food and drinks through non-oral means, such as through a feeding tube into the stomach.

“We are delighted Health Education England e-learning for Healthcare has now launched this guide as ease access to this resource will not only enable care home staff to better support residents living with the condition, but it will also equip carers and other health and care staff with the necessary skills to further support care of this complex condition.”

Angel Jimenez-Aranda, Digital Technology Lead for the NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Cooperative, said: “The Dysphagia Guide helps care home staff and others caring for those with dysphagia access the right training to manage their health better.

"The project has been an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how a successful collaborative approach involving industry experts, academics and health and care professionals can further improve healthcare. Devices for Dignity has actively supported the design and development of this digital tool, providing our experience and knowledge in healthcare technology innovation. We celebrate this project has become an open-access resource for all care homes in the UK.”

For more information about the e-learning resource, including access details, please visit:



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