A team at St David’s,inclusive of the Catering Managers, Practice Nurse and SaLT, have worked collaboratively to identify patients who are at risk of a choking episode and those who have dysphagia.
They have introduced a coded plate which serves as a visual alert to all staff, of the patient’s difficulty with eating and/or drinking and their risk of choking. Patients have all been agreeable to the use of the coded plate. Staff offer strategies as outlined in each patients eating and drinking safety plan – we are working to minimise the risk of choking and ensuring that staff are fully conversant with the care of patients at meal times and that we maintain vigilance.
This is working very well from the catering managers who prepare and serve the meal to the staff who seat themselves close by to provide support to patients during the meal. Patients will increase their personal understanding of their safety around mealtimes with continued support by staff.
The team have also revisited the preparation and presentation of textured meals, which has been well received by the patients. The Practice Nurse is reviewing the nutritional intake and the modification of diets based on the patient’s individual needs in align with their medical conditions e.g. Diabetes
The patients also use their coded plate during shop and cook sessions with the Occupational Therapist.
The plan is that the strategies linked to each patients coded plate is generalised and followed through by all staff during patient snack times and when accompanying them on their community trips.
“It is a work in progress but an example where people from different views have pulled together around the patients to address risk of choking. We are trying to be innovative and adapt our practice and all this driven by a need for personalised care”. (Interim Manager- Malcolm Philp )