3.5 Consultant Dysphagia Practitioner

Who needs Consultant Dysphagia Practitioner competence?

This is an expert practitioner who undertakes specialist investigations, manages a complex caseload, supervises others and leads research. 

What do they do?

Consultant Dysphagia Practitioners determine the cause of complex swallowing problems; they trial interventions to remediate or compensate for the presenting difficulties, and devise extensive care plans. Consultants undertake specialist interventions and/or alternative examinations, particularly for patients with complex or co-existing problems.  

They are involved in teaching, training and supervising others.  Consultants may act as a resource for evidence-based practice and offer second opinions. They take the lead in audit and research and develop dysphagia policy within the locality setting.

What does the training involve?

Consultant Dysphagia Practitioners will have undertaken specialist training related to the different elements of their role, such as carrying out a Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study (VFSS) and Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES).  

The Consultant Dysphagia Practitioner is linked to two Skills for Health competence units. These are:

·         DYS3 Undertake a specialist dysphagia assessment, see here

·         DYS4 Develop a dysphagia care plan, see here

Further information

Refer to the Consultant Dysphagia Practitioner competences in the Inter Professional Dysphagia Framework (Boaden et al 2006).