Patients with swallowing difficulties can expect to be diagnosed and start treatment more quickly thanks to a £95k investment in equipment.
Our Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Teams have taken delivery of specialist equipment that allows patients to be assessed without even leaving the ward.
The Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) equipment is portable so will save patients who need an instrumental assessment a trip to X-ray. Instead staff will carry out assessments in an outpatient setting or even at the bedside.
The equipment will mainly be based at Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals, but as it’s portable it can also be used over at Goole hospital at the Neuro Rehab Centre to assess patients there.
Sarah Scrace, Operational Lead for SLT, said: “For those patients who need it, this equipment will give us a better understanding of the cause of their swallowing difficulties and how we can treat it. With it being portable, it will allow us to carry out assessments more quickly, meaning we can provide patients and the staff looking after them with information on how best to manage their difficulties, including rehabilitation options, sooner. We expect to see improved outcomes for patients in terms of their rehabilitation.”
Swallowing difficulties can be caused by a wide range of conditions including neurological conditions like stroke or Parkinson’s Disease, cancer or as a result of surgery. Treatment varies and can include therapy to improve swallowing, changes to food and drink consistencies or feeding tubes if needed.
The use of FEES equipment is now recommended by The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and will reduce pressure on our videofluoroscopy service.
Staff are currently being trained to use the FEES equipment ahead of the rollout next year.