Our Speech and Language Therapists are supporting national Swallowing Awareness Day with a series of events on 11th May 2016.
Like breathing, swallowing is essential to everyday life. Humans swallow at least 900 times a day, around three times an hour during sleep, once per minute while awake and even more during meals.
The aim of the day is to bring attention to swallowing disorders and to connect people with health professionals who can help. This is the very first event to raise awareness of swallowing disorders in the UK and is being coordinated by our colleague, Anita Smith who is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist at the Trust on behalf of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in collaboration with Speech Pathology Australia.
Anita Smith, Consultant Speech and Language Therapist said: “Swallowing is something everyone does but no one talks about it. Swallowing problems can occur at any stage of life. Many people have swallowing difficulties after a serious incident such as a stroke, or as part of a life limiting disease such as Parkinson’s Disease or Motor Neurone Disease or just as part of getting older. The Speech and Language Therapist’s role is to identify these difficulties and support people to eat and drink safely where this is at all possible.”
During the day there will be manned stands with Speech and Language Therapy demonstrations with many practical examples, fun games and interactive apps in the main reception areas at Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne DGH along with Bexhill Irvine Unit from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Patients, visitors and staff across community and acute services will have the opportunity to take part in a swallowing quiz.
The highlight of the day will be the launch of the new Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing service. It will help to assess the safety of patients swallowing by visualising their swallowing directly to see any difficulties and allowing them be managed appropriately.
The Speech and Language Therapy team will be raising funds for Macmillan by taking on a thickened fluid challenge for the entire day. People can make donations online at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/ESSALTSAteam2016