Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Difficulties - Dysphagia Awareness Training and Resources

Information and guidance on dysphagia to raise awareness of this condition and to help staff to improve the quality of their service when they are supporting people with an eating, drinking and swallowing difficulty.


Having an eating, drinking or swallowing difficulty (dysphagia) has serious implications for a person’s health and well-being with increased likelihood of chest infections, malnutrition, dehydration, choking incidents and hospitalisations.

The quality of support provided for individuals with dysphagia who need modified diets and / or assistance is central to their health outcomes.  Health and social care workers need to have particular knowledge and skills to be able to provide safe care alongside specialist support from Speech and Language Therapists, GPs and other health professionals.

  • Information about the HSC and Publich Health Agency resources and links to these including new Swallow Aware Guidance and Resources.
  • Information about the Regional Dysphagia Awareness digital learning resource and how to access this.
  • Information about the Social Care Council Promotion Good Nutrition learning resource and how to access this - (this also includes some content on Dysphagia including: causes, signs, supporting someone with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties,  what is the IDDSI Framework? - this content can be found within the What is Malnutrition section of PGN).

If you need any help/support using this resource, please contact the Social Care Council at

Click here to provide feedback.

Published: 10 January 2020.
Updated: 6 January 2021.
Scroll down to find out more.

PHA & HSC, Regional Standardised S&L Therapy Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Recommendations and Guidance to Reduce the Risk of Preventable Choking and Resources


Dysphagia NI Online Newsletter - December 2021 Edition -This newsletter provides up to date regional information for front line staff and builds upon regional learning issued to date. This edition focuses on supporting front line staff to identify Eating Drinking and Swallowing Difficulties and signposts to specialist support. 

This edition also includes a save the date for the Eating, Drinking and Swallowing network which is launching on 20 January 2022 at 10.00-12.30. For further information please email:

Dysphagia NI has developed new standardised Regional Speech and Language Therapy Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Difficulties Recommendations Sheet (REDS).  This was implemented across the region from the 1st of October 2021. This pivotal patient safety documentation is aimed at all healthcare staff and is key to supporting the needs of people with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

Click on the links below to find out more.

Swallow Aware - Are you caring for someone with Eating, Drinking and Swallowing difficulties

  • This document provides guidance for health and social care staff on their role and responsibility in supporting the safety of people with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

Swallow Aware - Be Safety Aware with Food and Drink

  • This information poster is for display in public areas of care settings to promote awareness and safety.

Swallow Aware, Special Edition Learning Matters: Risk of serious harm or death from choking on food, October 2021

  • This is a special edition of Learning Matters Newsletter with a focus on the serious patient safety issues of choking and includes information about REDS.

HSC, PHA, Dysphagia and Swallow Aware

HSC, PHA, Dysphagia Resources

HSC, PHA, Eating, drinking and swallowing during COVID-19 - Advice for staff in care homes

HSC, Regional Nutrition Guidance for Care Home Residents with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19

Dysphagia Awareness Training


Swallow Awareness (Dysphagia) Training is available from the HSC E-Learning platform 

This programme is recommeded as "essential" for the staff working in health and social care and the care home sector. 

In order to successfully complete the programme, you must read all of the pages of information in each module and achieve 80% in two assessments.  Upon completion, a statement of completion will be available to view and print.

If you work in a residential or nursing care home and you cannot access the HSC E-Learning platform your organisation/manager may first need to register staff with the HSC E-Learning platform. Click here to find out more.

If you work in domiciliary care, supported living or day care and you cannot access the HSC E-Learning platform you can also access the course content from Health Education England.

The Health Education England, Dysphagia Guide elearning resource is available free of charge to colleagues working in the NHS, independent sector and social care. They have removed the requirement to register and log in. (Please note this does mean that your activity will not be tracked and you will not create a learning record/receive a certificate unless you register).

To freely access the content of the Dysphagia Guide without registering, scroll down to see the How to Access and select the View button to progress.

If you have any queries about accessing Swallow Awareness training, please contact the the HSC or PHA directly.

Promoting Good Nutrition


NI Social Care Council, Promoting Good Nutrition.

This digital learning resource has been developed and updated by the NI Social Care Council in partnership with social care employers (BHSCT, NHSCT and SEHSCT), the Northern Trust led Regional Prescribing Support Dietetic Team and Public Health Agency (PHA).

It aims to support social care workers better understand what good nutrition is and how to support individuals who may be at risk of malnutrition and/or dehydration.