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Provide a Service with Robust Dysphagia Management: Implement EDS with IDDSI

What is EDS – The Eating Drinking and Swallowing Competency Framework?

Dysphagia management in health and social care settings can now be implemented through the adherence to the Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Competency Framework (EDS).

The Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Competency Framework (EDS) was published by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) in 2020, replacing the IDF, that sets out an assessable competency framework for those involved in the safe management of people with dysphagia.

EDS Implementation is Required Across Health and Social Care Services

Risk from dysphagia is widespread across health and social care services due to its prevalence in medical conditions such as:

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Cognitive and Behavioural Disabilities
  • Cancer of the Head and Neck
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Brain Trauma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Huntingdon’s Disease

A well-trained team, at all levels of support that understand their role in EDS, has shown that more effective safeguarding can be provided, reducing the impacts and risks and improving quality of life.

EDS Levels of Competency

The EDS sets out the following levels of competency:

Level 1: Public Health Messages, Awareness

Level 2: Care Plan Implementation

Level 3: Identification and Implementation of an Interim Eating and Drinking Plan

Level 4: Protocol-Guided Assessment and Management

Level 5: Specialist Assessment and Management

Level 6: Consultant Assessment and Management

EDS Requirements for Health and Social Care Services

Levels 1 to 3 are required for effective  dysphagia management in health and social care services, whether in acute or community settings.

When dysphagia can present a significant risk to patients and residents, and needs identifying and daily management, levels 1, 2 and 3 provide the knowledge and skills that give team members confidence to make effective decisions and actions to safeguard this vulnerable group.

Level 1: Public Health Messages – EDS – Level 1 is designed for people supporting in a capacity where the development of dysphagia is likely and provides an understanding of the condition, signs of the development of dysphagia and the dysphagia management structure and scope of roles within the management team.

Level 2: Care Plan Implementation – EDS – Level 2 is designed for people implementing a care plan for the care of individuals with dysphagia. The course builds on the learning in Level 1 and covers oral hygiene, IDDSI, promoting safe eating and drinking, and the importance of good communication and documentation.

Level 3: Identification and Implementation of an Interim Eating and Drinking Plan – EDS – Level 3 is designed for people supporting in a capacity where there is need for a good understanding and identification of the signs and symptoms of dysphagia, any changes in an individual’s presentation, and how these can be managed. A key point is identifying when to request additional help/support in the form of a referral to a more specialist dysphagia practitioner such as a GP, Speech and language therapist, dietitian paediatrician, specialist nurse or contact the emergency on-call specialists or emergency services; additionally knowing what steps might need to be implemented whilst awaiting this support.

Levels 4 to 6 provide knowledge and competencies for roles of significant experience and training in registered professional. These will generally be required by registered clinicians within the multidisciplinary team.

The International Dysphagia Diets Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI)

The implementation of EDS competencies across an organisation includes the provision of food and drink, which can be achieved through ‘in-house’ and externally produced solutions. This requires a competent knowledge of IDDSI, its use and testing methods, and the effective production of food and drinks that comply with the IDDSI Framework.

The IDDSI Framework is endorsed by RCSLT and BDA; and is used in speech and language therapist recommendations for food and drink textures on assessment. It is therefore implicit that IDDSI knowledge and competency forms part of EDS implementation. Click HERE to visit the IDDSI Website.

Implementing EDS

Oak House Kitchen provides all the training you need to implement EDS and IDDSI across your organisation with online resources that are VALIDATED, ACCESSIBLE and COST-EFFECTIVE.

Contact us for further details – Book a Tour of the package

View the full EDS document HERE.