20 October 2020

Dysphagia assessment should be considered an aerosol generating procedure (AGP), a new report from an expert RCSLT advisory group concludes.

The advisory group was established in response to concerns raised by RCSLT members about the government’s guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE), which omits dysphagia assessment from its current list of AGPs.

While government guidance on PPE continues to be reviewed and updated, the omission of dysphagia assessment from its AGP list potentially puts speech and language therapists undertaking these assessments at risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19.

The RCSLT has submitted the report – which is backed by the Intensive Care Society, the National Tracheostomy Safety Project, the British Thoracic Society, ENT UK, the UK Swallow Research Group, the European Society for Swallowing Disorders, the British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, and the British Association of Stroke Physicians – to government, and to the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, which is leading on a review of AGPs.