26 April 2019

A new menu for patients who have difficulty swallowing will be rolled out across Shropshire’s acute hospitals next week.

The Catering Team, Speech and Language Team and Dietetics Team at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) have worked together to create three new colour-coded, menus for patients with dysphagia, whch adopt the language and design of The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative’s (IDDSI) framework. The IDDSI framework ensures that the same terms and textures are used for all diet and all fluids across the world.

Claire Saxby, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist at SaTH, which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, said: “We are so proud of the work we have carried out on our new patient menus. We join a global initiative which means that for an individual with dysphagia, whichever care setting they travel to in the world, their dietary requirements will be understood and acted on.”

Nick Parkin, Senior Catering Manager, said: “The three new menus we’re launching on Monday; ‘soft and bite sized’, ‘minced and moist’ and ‘pureed’, mean that we will now offer a broader range of products to our patients who do require texture modified meals. Nutrition is a vital part of the recovery process and we feel these menus will certainly go some way to support this.

“Our menus will also include an explanation from the Speech and Language Therapy Team so we can deliver the best care and nutrition possible to dysphagia sufferers, with meal choices tailored to their exact needs.”

Over 590 million people worldwide live with dysphagia, which means they have difficulty feeding, chewing or swallowing. These problems range from requiring easy to chew food, to needing all food to be pureed.

People who suffer from Dysphagia have far-reaching conditions, including Stroke, Parkinsons, Motor Neurone Disease, Dementia and Multiple Sclerosis. The frail and elderly, those living with head and neck cancers or multiple complex medical difficulties may also struggle with feeding.

The Trust’s introduction of new diet options for patients comes after thickened fluids moved over to the IDDSI’s framework in April 2018.