Dysphagia: spreading a patient safety message

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Dysphagia means difficulty swallowing saliva, fluids, food or medicines. It is a distressing, relatively common and potentially life-threatening problem which can lead to malnutrition, dehydration and aspiration pneumonia. We collaborated with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to spread the message about dysphagia as a patient safety issue and that it is everyone’s responsibility to support safe self management. The project involved developing, evaluating and rolling out an innovative educational approach – workplace based, blended e-learning, and using a nationally endorsed inter-professional competence framework for workforce development. The findings indicate changes in practice with direct patient benefit.

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