Swallowing problems (dysphagia) occur frequently in those who suffer with a spinal cord injury, depending on the level and severity of spinal injury.

Swift and thorough assessment of swallowing can be key in preventing poor nutrition and hydration and in reducing the risk of chest infection as a result of aspiration. 

The Speech and Language Therapy department aim to enable patients to communicate and to eat and drink as normally and as safely as possible.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Assessing patients on the unit, with food and drink
  • Offering advice and monitoring for safety of swallowing
  • Providing therapy programmes to improve strength and timeliness of swallowing as needed
  • Access to swallowing tests such as videofluoroscopy (a moving x-ray examination of swallowing) to ensure informed decisions can be made about the safety of your swallowing
  • Working alongside you and your family members to ensure communication is maximised wherever possible, individual and goal-centred communication support and advice to ensure your individual needs are met as you progress through your rehabilitation
  • Making sure your experience as an inpatient is comfortable and as effective as possible.

To refer a patient to the speech and language therapy team call 0114 2715068 or speak with the Nursing Staff.

For more information, click on the links below to read the following patient information leaflets:
Easy Eating – liquidised level 3 diet  
Easy Eating – Minced and Moist Level 5 diet
Easy Eating – Puree Level 4 diet
Easy Eating Regular with easy to chew options Level 7 diet
Avoiding High Risk Foods
Avoiding mixed / dual consistency foods