IDDSI and Dysphagia – 3 Takeaways


April’s The Lantern Project discussion was all about IDDSI and dysphagia. My 3 takeaways?

1. Download and refer to the IDDSI app. Great resource for information sheets, audit tools, movies, etc. Once downloaded, you can use the app offline.

2. The international framework is effective FROM 1 May. Build IDDSI into your discussions and meal service now and implement in a planned systematic way. IDDSI is not regulated and you do not have to have the framework implemented by 1 May.

3. IDDSI empowers staff to create great solutions and test the food and drink inhouse to meet the assessed level as determined by the Speechy. This will be increasingly important for dignified risk and person-centred care.

Soft diets: Under IDDSI, those currently assessed as requiring a “soft” diet may need to be reassessed to determine whether Level 7 – Regular/Easy to Chew or Level 6 – Soft & Bite-Sized is more appropriate. If Level 6, sandwiches with soft fillings and crusts off would NOT meet the IDDSI size and softness test. All food for Level 6 must be no bigger than 1.5cm X 1.5cm (thumb nail size) and meet the fork/spoon pressure test. While spaghetti would pass the pressure test, it must be no longer than 1.5cm to meet IDDSI.

Critical to safety and quality for recipients is to ensure the food and drink is the right texture at the time of consuming. What is made perfectly in the kitchen may not comply at the time of consumption. Conduct regular audits using IDDSI recommended testing methods for drinks and for food.

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