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Swallowing Awareness Day 18th March 2020 

SAVE THE DATE
Are you interested in raising awareness of how eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) can affect people’s lives? Then, please join the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) on 18 March 2020 for its Swallowing Awareness Day campaign.

Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties have potentially life-threatening consequences. They can result in choking, pneumonia, chest infections, dehydration and weight loss. They can also make taking medication more difficult and they can lead to a poorer quality of life for the individual and their family.

The 2019 campaign was a huge success and saw collaboration between multidisciplinary professionals and the public to create a wide-range of imaginative campaign activities.

The Twitter hashtag #swallowaware2019 reached around 2.46 million people in 55 nations around the world.

We want to make Swallowing Awareness Day bigger and better than ever in 2020, and we need your help to do it!

There are many ways for you to take part in Swallowing Awareness Day 2020, like working with your catering department to create a modified menu, running a workshop to get people to experience what it is like to be helped to eat and drink, or creating interview videos with service users and patients about their experiences with dysphagia. Spread the word about your event by inviting your local MP, press, colleagues and members of the public to join you. In fact, get everyone involved!

Make sure you share your campaign activity on Instagram and Twitter and show everyone how you are raising awareness about people’s swallowing difficulties and how they are supported by multi-disciplinary professionals such as speech and language therapists.

Please use the hashtag #swallowaware2020 and tag @RCSLT and @GivingVoiceUK when posting your campaign messages, images and videos on social media! To help you get involved and enable you to get your message across, the RCSLT has built a campaign toolkit, which includes posters, placemats, coasters and factsheets, so why not take a look?!
We hope you have a great day campaigning for Swallowing Awareness Day 2020 and look forward to hearing about your activities!

Hydration Awareness Toolkit

We are pleased to share with you the hydration toolkit ‘DrinKit’ which includes a training course and supporting resources kindly shared by the University of East Anglia. Again, it is free to access but please abide by the conditions they have set out for its access and use by all.
Please use the link here to access this toolkit and course.

https://www.uea.ac.uk/medicine/research/publichealth/health-services-and-primary-care/DrinKit

Hydration Awareness Video

Colleagues at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust have introduced the simple approach of #ButFirstADrink to improve hydration. You can watch this short Animation to find out more.

The team have also set up a Facebook page to encourage people to share ideas and projects etc (https://www.facebook.com/Butfirstadrink/). Please feel free to use, all the team ask is that you share back anything you may develop from the idea.

Reducing urinary tract infections in care by improving hydration

Colleagues at the Oxford Patient Safety Collaborative have shared a link to their recent publication Reducing urinary tract infections in care homes by improving hydration.

The aim of this quality improvement project, started in May 2016, was to reduce the incidence of UTIs by improving hydration with the ultimate aim of reducing UTI admissions to hospital by 5% from the previous year.

You can read the excellent article at:

http://bmjopenquality.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/bmjoq-2018-000563

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