IDDSI – Don’t delay, get trained today!

IDDSI – the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative

The deadline for IDDSI implementation is 01 April 2019.

It involves the use of new terminology and practice by all healthcare professionals, who support people with dysphagia.

It replaces the old UK National Descriptors. You may have heard terms such as Stage 1 or syrup thick drinks, and fork-maskable or purée diet.

Moves have already been made by manufacturers of thickening powders and prepared dysphagia foods to reflect the new IDDSI terminology.

For speech and language therapists, this means changing their recommendations for adapted food and drink consistencies, and for colleagues who prepare and provide the food and drink, it means fully understanding and implementing those recommendations.

The framework uses new terminology and new colour coding. IDDSI has also been developed to reflect the fact that food and drink consistencies can overlap.

So, what do we have?

Here is a summary of the new IDDSI terminology against the current/old National Descriptors. (I recognise not all speech therapists were using the National Descriptors or were not doing so in precisely the way I have detailed it below, it is a rough approximation).

It is also interesting to note that the term ‘soft diet’ or ‘soft food’ is not in and of itself a term at all!

Often, the words fluids = drinks, and diet = food when speech therapists make their recommendations.

The IDDSI committee and colleagues all over the world have worked hard to produce this and supporting materials. These can be found at There is a wealth of material here and it is regularly updated. They run webinars and provide resources to help colleagues keep up to date and ensure they are providing evidence-based and safe recommendations.

However, there is no substitute for something so important than face-to-face training.

This is where IDDSI training UK comes in. I am a co-founder along with Gary Brailsford, Specialist Dysphagia Chef of Dining with Dignity, and Caroline Hill, Freelance Dietitian of Caroline Hill Nutrition.

We are independent of the IDDSI committee but bring colleagues an all-in-one learning experience.

We provide training to help;
  • understand swallowing and dysphagia
  • develop appropriate care plans
  • fully implement speech and language therapy swallow recommendations using IDDSI
  • understand how to optimize nutrition for people with dysphagia
  • develop your food and drink preparation, cooking, and presentation in line with IDDSI
  • meet CQC standards, and attain accreditations from relevant organisations
  • carry out dysphagia safety audits
  • meet with colleagues to share expertise and good practice

If your organisation wishes to benefit from our training and get ready for the deadline of 01 April 2019, please do contact us on or visit IDDSI training UK and leave us a message.

You can also find our flyer here.




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