Safer modification of food and drink

In June 2018, NHS improvement, the British Dietetic Association and the Royal College of Speech and Language therapists issued a Patient Safety Alert regarding the use of food thickening (or texture modifying) products for people with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia).

There have been a number of incidents reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) in England where patients have come to harm as a result of people misunderstanding the imprecise term ‘soft diet’.  As a result, manufacturers have been directed to align their product administration instructions to a standardised framework developed by the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative.

In addition to the Patient Safety Alert, the CP PSG has produced a short list of some practical things which community pharmacy teams may wish to consider when helping patients and their carers understand the changes to terminology.

Safer modification of food / drink (community pharmacy)