From April 2018 work has been underway across the country to roll out a new framework for the labelling of diets and fluids in the Dysphagic population. After years of research and collaboration across the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany and China the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) have devised a simple seven level system to describe oral regimes. This is presented across a continuum for both foods and fluids.
Each level comes with it's own, easy to measure descriptor using methods such as flow rate, spoon drip and fork pressure. There is a emphasis on airway safety the specification that foods at Level 6 Soft & Bitesized cannot exceed a maximum particle size dimension of 8mm x 8mm (paediatrics) and 1.5 x 1.5 cm (adults) is intended to address choking risk. For patients on thickened fluids, there are now a greater number of options including those that were previously considered 'naturally thick'. By April 2019, the new framework will be implemented across all health and social care settings. Softly Spoken plans to defer to the new terminology from the 1st November 2018. If you would like to know more information please click on the following IDDSI link.