Swallowing awareness day celebrated with an afternoon tea

Patients at Colchester Hospital were treated to tea and cake in celebration of international Swallowing Awareness Day.

The event was organised by dietitians, speech therapists and nursing staff to raise the awareness of how important it is to help patients with swallowing difficulties.

Patients unable to swallow easily were given modified texture versions – thickened drinks and soaked cakes. Hospital visitors and staff were also given the chance to sample the modified food and drink.

Patients who are well nourished and well hydrated recover more quickly and have fewer complications and shorter stays in hospital.

Ruth Myers, clinical lead for adult acquired speech and language therapy, said: “Many patients we care for encounter swallowing problems meaning they have to have a textured, modified diet.

“That slows down the transportation of food and drink, reducing the risk of a patient choking, whilst maintaining their calorie and nutritional intake.

“Swallowing Awareness Day meanwhile, raises awareness of how integral the issue of having swallowing difficulties is in everyday life and social situations.

Swallowing Awareness Day was held during Nutrition and Hydration Week, which ran from the 12th to the 18th March.