The latest in the CQC’s series of ‘learning from safety incidents’ looks at reducing the risk of choking.
Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties. If a person with dysphagia is at risk of choking, they will usually see a speech and language therapist (SALT). You should have detailed plans in place for the affected person. The plans need to tell your care staff how to prepare their food and drink.
In 2017, CQC prosecuted a care home provider for failing to manage risks to people’s safely. One of those risks involved a choking incident.
The provider failed to:
- make sure that staff understood how to safely support a 77-year-old man to eat and drink. This was because they did not pass on advice from his SALT
- maintain accurate care records.
Guidelines to help homes manage dysphagia include:
- New International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (international standardised descriptors) published in April 2018 (see Care Home Management’s March 2018 issue for more information)
- Public Health England guide: management of dysphagia
- CQC: Medicines in adult social care services.
The CQC’s learning from safety incidents series includes guidance on the following topics: