Dysphagia - healthcare professionals

This page is dedicated to healthcare professionals who support patients with dysphagia.

What is Dysphagia?

Dysphagia describes eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties in infants, children and adults.

People with dysphagia often have other health conditions that they are being treated for, which can affect their eating, drinking and swallowing abilities (RCSLT 2023)

Swallow Aware campaign

The Swallow Aware Campaign seeks to adopt a regional approach to -

1. Raise awareness of:

  • the signs and symptoms of dysphagia
  • the risks associated with dysphagia
  • how and when to get a referral for specialist swallowing assessment by Speech and Language Therapy
  • how to support someone living with dysphagia

2. Listen to understand the lived experience of people living with dysphagia and their families / carers and engage them in the work taken forward as part of the Swallow Aware campaign.  This will include building relationship with community and voluntary sector organisations.

3. Working in partnership with the hospitality industry to provide information to restaurants / bars and other food and drink outlets on how to help support people living with dysphagia.

Hospitality (Eating out)

Swallow aware factsheet (A4 poster) - this factsheet aims to improve the experience for customers with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) by providing top tips for hospitality

Dysphagia awareness wallet card - A wallet card has been produced for people living with dysphagia to use when they are eating out in restaurants, cafes and bars.  The wallet card can be requested from your Speech and Language Therapist or by contacting dysphagiani@hscni.net


There are two levels of swallow awareness (dysphagia) training for staff.  

  • Training for staff NOT involved in food preparation, serving food or assisting people to eat and drink.
  • Training module for staff who are directly involved in the care of people with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

Both levels of training are available to access on the Learn HSCNI Platform LearnHSCNI | Sign in


Signs symptoms and advice

Nutrition and hydration

Food and drink modifications


Finding your Medicines Hard to Swallow? Swallow aware (poster)

NI formulary website resource PHA Swallow Aware (infographic 3 poster)

NI Formulary Swallowing difficulties and thickening agents

Oral care

Brand guidelines and logos


The Swallow Aware logo is available to download below as a full colour jpg file, a black png version and a while (reverse out) png version. EPS files for use by designers and printers are also attached in a zip file below. Please consult the Brand guidelines below to ensure proper application when using the logos and contact the PHA if unsure of application.

Swallow Aware logo black.png (591×350)

Swallow Aware logo colour.jpg (591×350)

Swallow Aware logo white.png (591×350)

Swallow Aware logos EPS

Swallow Aware brand guidelines

End of life care

Dysphagia NI newsletters

Mealtimes matter

Mealtimes Matter is a regionally agreed framework to maximise service user safety and ensure a high-quality experience always occurs at every meal, drink and snack time.


Safety advice and incident reporting

Roles & responsibilities

Involving your service users