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Board game aims to improve knowledge on dysphagia

A game-based training tool to support people caring for patients with swallowing difficulties has been launched this week.

NHS England has worked with clinical games developer Focus Active Learning to create the unique game-based training tool to help improve detection and management of dysphagia.

It is aimed primarily at frontline clinicians and support staff in hospitals, care homes and hospices. It features a board game for face-to-face engagement and an online version.

NHS England director of patient safety Dr Mike Durkin said: “Dysphagia is a condition that can affect people of all ages but is often poorly understood by healthcare workers.

“We hope that this new training aid will provide a practical tool to build knowledge about this condition and improve detection and management of dysphagia,” he said.

The launch of the game marks the start of Nutrition and Hydration Week, which begins today and is intended to improve awareness and understanding of the significance of good nutrition and hydration in health and social care environments.

 

Readers' comments (16)

  • What an insult to nurses intelligence!

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  • perhaps we could just turn everything into a game - even management and their targets - bulls eye!

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  • If it stops one healthcare worker giving fish and chips to a person with dysphagia then it has been an effective resource to aid learner.

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  • Anonymous | 19-Mar-2014 3:27 pm

    If it stops one healthcare worker giving fish and chips to a person with dysphagia then it has been an effective resource to aid learner.

    An appropriate handover and bedside documentation would be preferable I think.

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  • Maybe trainee surgeons could have one of these

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Operation-Board-Game-Free-UK-Post-classic-family-fun-MB-Games-Hasbro-/301128501466

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  • Whatever next! how patronising. Who plugged money into this?

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  • Anonymous | 19-Mar-2014 3:27 pm

    why would a healthcare worker give a patient with dysphagia fish and chips?

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  • its ok for those wishing to spend their time playing silly board games - each to their taste!

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  • I'm not sure clinicians and qualified nurses who regularly use their skills to assess a patients ability to swallow, but perhaps support staff who work in care homes and the like might find it a useful source of information. There is nothing wrong with making learning fun - as long as they are successful in passing on the information and it is retained.
    I remember prior to my nurse training getting very little training and support in the privately run nursing home that I worked in and at the age of 16, pretty much having to feel my own way on a variety of things. A tool like his may have been useful.
    I guess what I am trying to say is don't knock it - if you know alot about dysphagia - then this tool isn't aimed at you.

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  • I cannot believe it. All these comments are disgraceful. I have been qualified for 18 years and 2 months ago moved to the stroke unit. I thought I knew a lot about dysphagia but I could not have been more wrong. It is a hugely complex subject which is why Speech and Language therapists spend so much time with patients who have this condition.

    Yes, as nurses we have a general knowledge, but we are supposed to be learning and adapting ourselves for patient benefit all the time. What I have read is unbelieveable, to be honest. You are either all fantastic nurses who know everything about everything, or you are just insulted because you are in fact probably ignorant of the complexities of the problem and think it is an easy subject to know about. As for the hand over comment, patients conditions can change rapidly, especially in stroke, so get over yourselves and embrace the resources that are offered.

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  • desertdeserter | 21-Mar-2014 10:44 am


    good grief, I have been qualified twice as long as you have since it seems to be something here to boast about. I have extensive experience of stroke patients and am still learning as each patient and their families are different and knowledge and its practical application changes and develops over time and I am fortunate enough to have worked in an excellent learning and teaching environment. However, it does not mean I want to play games or that i have lost my sense of humour, although I would not dream of using it at a patients expense although I might here as an outlet!

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  • Link to a newspaper story of a nursing home where a patient dies after having fish and chips
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-26569414

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  • Sally Carson how can it be an insult to nurses? Not all nurses have a clear understanding of dysphagia and it makes me so angry that other professionals feel the need to air they are insulted? And health care professional should be 100% be happy that information will be there for everyone.
    I am a nurse and although I had a basic knowledge all my help came direct from SALT.not many nurses understand issues. I once took a post in a reputable home and 7 people where on thick n easy purely because the nurse asked the gp? No one had understood sometimes a swallowing deficit does not automatically mead thicken it? I for one certainly welcome a tool for all health care professionals and off course the public who have no idea how to identify swallowing complications.

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  • simon watts | 22-Mar-2014 8:57 am

    why should you be so angry at other nurses expressing their views? This is what spreads so much ill-will and lack of support in what is reputed to be a 'caring' profession intended to include mental as well as physical health of those who care as well as those being cared for!

    As far as dysphagia goes, general nurses and others looking after patients who suffer from dysphagia require adequate training before they qualify and further training as required. members of the public involved in the care of or responsible for feeding individuals with swallowing difficulties should receive adequate information and training. adults do not normally require or even want board games to assist in their learning and as you can already see from some of the comments will most probably meet with resistance.

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  • I welcome any good information on the management of dysphagia because it's difficult and scary to manage.

    Too many such patients are left on wards at weekends with nobody but agency staff (with very variable skills) and HCAs. I have seen some clueless approaches varying from pureed diets, to nil by mouth for days until a SALT picks up a referral!

    Patients suffer from clueless care and anything that helps is good, even if it does seem puerile and patronising for qualified staff.

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  • desertdeserter | 21-Mar-2014 10:44 am

    I cannot believe it. All these comments are disgraceful. I have been qualified for 18 years and 2 months ago moved to the stroke unit. I thought I knew a lot about dysphagia but I could not have been more wrong. It is a hugely complex subject which is why Speech and Language therapists spend so much time with patients who have this condition.

    Have you had a look at the game? it is rather basic and juvenile.

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