IDDSI- international dysphagia diet standardisation initiative.

Perth 23rd March 2019

A beautiful spring morning saw over 100 Dietitians and Speech and Language Therapists descend on Perth to talk all things IDDSI.

IDDSI is the international dysphagia diet standardisation initiative. “It is a global initiative to improve the lives of 590 million people living worldwide with dysphagia” Click here for more info:

Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties. The breadth and depth of experience around the room in Perth covered the many areas of life where people experience dysphagia. Dysphagia affects a variety of people and can be experienced across the lifespan from children through to older adults. Attendees spoke with passion about their experiences of supporting people who were living with dysphagia as a result of a stroke, or another medical condition such as dementia.

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The day kicked off with an overview of the context behind IDDSI implementation in the UK. Joanna Instone, British Dietetic Association Head of External Affairs & Policy Officer for England and Wales, described how and why the Professional bodies had come together to collaborate and build a timeline to support IDDSI implementation. Communication was key. Recognising that putting patient safety first was key to cross professional support.

The event followed the SCPN healthy meeting guidelines so, then came the chance to stand and stretch and refresh water glasses, before breaking out into facilitated groups.

Small tables of 10 people came together to discuss personal experiences of IDDSI implementation. What were they doing in their own workplace? What are the benefits of IDDSI in practice? What are the challenges?

The 30 minutes allocated for this workshop raced by as people were keen to share and learn from each other.

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A presentation from Emma McLeod, Site Coordinator, Adult Speech and Langauge Therapy from NHS Lothian followed describing their journey with IDDSI. She explained how close partnership between Dietetics and Speech and Language Therapy has resulted in a shared vision and plan for implementation. Support from commercial companies such as apetito and Nutricia to provide face to face training around practical issues in areas such as care homes was also highlighted. Resources which are colour coded and provide pictorial descriptions have been developed and been well received. Again Emma described how communication and partnership working was key.

A short break for healthy refreshments; tea, coffee, water, fresh fruit and scones, was well received.

We then heard from Hannah Dent, Speech and Language Therapist about the approach in NHS Grampian. It was interesting to compare and contrast with the Lothian approach.

It was time for a workshop again, reflecting on how we could overcome challenges to IDDSI implementation and propose solutions.

Refreshed from the coffee break it was starting to become clear that there was momentum in the room for national collaboration. A once for Scotland approach. This is a key opportunity to demonstrate the value and impact Allied Health Professionals can have to shape services and drive forward patient safety.

Suggestions from the floor included national e-learning resources and a communication strategy.

It was timely that the National Diet Resource UK (NDR-UK) then shared resources that have been developed in partnership to support IDDSI.

The final workshop of the day was led by Tracy Lazenby-Paterson who summarised discussions happening nationally across the room.

A final chance before lunch to look at nutritional products and resources from Nutricia, apetito, Talking Mats, NDR-UK, Nestle Health Sci​ence, and Fresenius Kabi.

Delegates then had the opportunity to reflect upon their learning and set a SMART goal of how they planned to take learning forward after the event.

My goal centred around communication, as this was a common theme across the day.

My goal was to write a blog (specific), send to AHPScot for consideration of publishing (measurable), I know who and how to contact at AHPScot Blog (achievable) and also how to write the blog as I have done this before (realistic) and planned to do within a week of attending the event (timely).

All in all it was a great day and like the spring flowers starting to bloom outside, the drive for taking IDDSI forward as a national approach, was starting to flourish.

For more information from the day see #IDDSIScot on twitter

joteeceWritten by:

Joanna Teece, Dietitian and Health Defence Lead, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland



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