1.1 Foreword

I am delighted that CLAHRC for South Yorkshire have used the Inter-Professional Dysphagia Framework to underpin their research at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  As far as I am aware, this is the first time the Framework has been applied to workforce development in a health care organisation.  

We created the Framework in the 2000s to provide a consistent, adaptable competency framework for anyone working with people with swallowing problems. The Framework was developed using a consensus approach and represents the collective experience of many individuals and organisations.  It was recognised by relevant professional associations including the Royal College of Nursing; the Royal College of Physicians; the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists; the British Dietetics Association and user representatives.     Importantly, the knowledge and skills align with the Skills for Health, National Occupational Standards, so the competences are accepted throughout the United Kingdom.

The South Yorkshire Toolkit is structured around the Inter-Professional Dysphagia Framework and contains a comprehensive mix of information and resources for trainers.  These competences are vital to assist people to swallow safely, and as such, are relevant to everyone.  I am especially pleased that so much attention is given to the Assistant Dysphagia Practitioner level. 

Congratulations to all whose efforts and hard work is represented in the Toolkit. They are to be commended for compiling this resource which will support the safer management of individuals with swallowing problems.

Dr. Elizabeth Boaden

Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

December 2013


Dr. Sue Pownall demonstrating the swallowing process at Researchers Night in Sheffield in September 2012.