Another successful dysphagia training day!

As part of the collaboration with IDDSI Training UK, I visited Cardinal Heenan House in Skelmersdale with my chef colleague, Gary, and dietetic colleague, Caroline. The home specialises in supporting people with dementia and is very proactive in ensuring the residents receive the best care.

We provided training that fitted around the needs of the residents, staff and home organisation. We ensured that all members of staff – including in the kitchen of course! – understood the relevant dysphagia, nutrition and catering theory, which was then put into practice, and helped to make sense of the new standards known as IDDSI – International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative.

We were pleased to see how motivated and caring staff were to make sure that IDDSI is implemented fully and safely by the deadline of 01 April 2019.

It can be a bit daunting to practice new, improved methods of preparing food and drink to meet the standards, especially when you are being watched by a specialist speech therapist, chef and dietician! Joanna Howard and Andrea Ormesher practiced their presentation of Level 4 purée diet. They ensured that there was no liquid run-off, no sloppy consistency, and that the food looked as close to the original as possible, sitting up on the plate, with bright colours, all of which help the food look so much more appetising. This helps residents, especially those with dementia, to understand what food they are eating, socialise with others eating ‘normal’ textures, enjoy their food, and remain healthy.

Very first attempt at using piping to create a smooth, firm Level 4 purée!

If you are interested in dysphagia/IDDSI training, do visit our website or contact me on

I can also provide useful resources to support your provision of safe and enjoyable food and drink for residents with dysphagia. Following training, I can also provide an additional audit service with action plan and comprehensive report. Very useful for CQC too!

Many thanks to the Manager, Kerry Ellison, for inviting us to provide training and making us so welcome on the day.

Well done to everyone at Cardinal Heenan House. Keep up the good work!

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