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The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative

25 October 2018

A new, internationally agreed system for texture modified foods and fluids has been rolled out across Southend Hospital from 1 October.

The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI), developed to bring consistency and ease of use to texture modified foods, is in the process of an international implementation programme that will see it increasingly adopted over the next three years.

The IDDSI testing system aims to provide a comprehensive way for caterers to assess the texture of the food they prepare for people with dysphagia (swallowing difficulties).

The new categories will supersede existing descriptors that use a B-E scale or phrases such as 'thin puree' or 'premashed', providing a single, internationally recognised system.

Greg Heather, Speech and Language Therapist, said: "Southend University Hospital has been making a multidisciplinary effort to come into line with the new international framework for standardisation of dysphagia diet and fluid descriptors. This framework has been approved by the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists & The British Dietetic Association.

As the aim is for national compliance in all care settings by April 2019, Southend University Hospital is ahead of the curve in implementation. Alongside our community colleagues we are taking steps towards achieving a more transferrable and uniform terminology."


How does this affect Southend Hospital staff?

• All nurses and healthcare assistants on adult wards are being trained.

• The Speech Therapy Team are using the new descriptors on bedside red forms from 1 October.

• Patient modified texture meal packaging will be updated.

• Information sheets for discharge will be updated - these can be found on Staffnet in the Speech Therapy section.

• Please throw away any old information sheets and delete them from your ward drives and replace with the new forms.