What is Dysphagia?

Dysphagia pronounced dis-FAH-juh, is the medical name for swallowing difficulties. This type of difficulty usually occurs due to an underlying condition such as stoke, head injury, learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease or head and neck cancer.

Swallowing becomes difficult for a person with Dysphagia because the muscles used fir chewing and swallowing because weak or uncoordinated. As a result, food and drink can go into the lungs instead of the stomach often knows as ‘going down the wrong way’.

The signs of Dysphagia

Identify symptoms early and act! Symptoms can include:

  • Drooling or excessive saliva
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Painful swallowing
  • Coughing or chocking during swallowing
  • Clearing throat regularly
  • Impaired breathing during mealtimes
  • Avoiding eating while in the company of others
  • Taking a long time to eat or struggling to finish meals
  • Avoiding or playing with food
  • Needing help to eat or drink


Thicken Up RTU (Starch) update

From 1st February 2023, Resource ThickenUp powder is being discontinued on the market and will not be available via prescription or over the counter. It is being replaced with Resource ThickenUp Clear, a gum-based product that has already been in use for some time. Research has shown that gum-based thickeners such as Resource ThickenUp Clear have a better stability and a better palatability than the starch-based products they are replacing.

For further details, please see below for official communications from Nestle Health Science:

Click here for the official Nestle Health Science letter to customers
Click here for the ThickenUp clear and movicol mixing instructions

Thickener and IDDSI training safety briefing webinar – 25th Jan 2023

Click here for the webinar recording
Click here for the webinar slides

Nestle – 20 Minute Safety Briefing sessions

Nestle, a leader in the field of nutritional science offers individual 20-minute virtual safety briefing sessions for care homes. These sessions include:

  • A brief overview of Dysphagia and how to safely mix thickened drinks using RTUC.
  • How to upskill, change behaviours and give staff more confidence around Dysphagia Management.

All attendees are provided with a certificate after the session.

» Click here to visit their website for more information
» Click here for the Nestle complete guide to Dysphagia

Webinar – 6th October – 20 minute safety briefing on Dysphagia and Thickened Drinks

» Click here for the slides
» Click here for the recording of the session

Contacts for support:

» HCPA Provider Hub – assistance@hcpa.co.uk
» Directly contact Territory Manager – Carina.Taylor@uk.nestle.com or call 07795886844
» Request a rep through our Nestle N PLUS Hub – www.nplushub.co.uk

Useful Resources

Click the resource name to download

High risk foods poster landscape
High risk foods poster portrait
Managing Dysphagia leaflet
Oral care leaflet
Thickening drinks leaflet
Managing Dysphagia Level 3 leaflet (a liquidised diet)
Manging Dysphagia Level 4 leaflet (a Pureed diet)
Managing Dysphagia Level 5 leaflet (Minced and moist diet)
Manging Dysphagia Level 6 leaflet (soft and bite-sized diet)
Managing Dysphagia Level 7 poster (easy to chew)
Dysphagia, aspiration and mouth care prior to Speech and Language Therapist assessment