10 January 2024

The RCSLT has developed a new position paper and resources to support practitioners when considering the use of thickened fluids in the treatment and management of service users with dysphagia.

Following the publication of our statement in March 2023, we have now published a position paper to support SLTs and clinicians to understand the potential benefits and burdens associated with thickened fluids and support practitioners to review their current practice.

It is important that practitioners review the current evidence base within their clinical specialism and decisions around thickened fluids are based on the principles of patient-centred care.

In addition to the paper we have also published a summary briefing for SLTs, a summary briefing for other healthcare practitioners, and a leaflet for patients/carers. We will also soon be publishing an easy-read patient leaflet.

The paper was developed for the RCSLT by three lead authors and an expert working group of SLTs. The authors Maya Asir, Lizzie King and Tracy Lazenby-Paterson joined RCSLT’s senior project manager Kathleen Graham on our latest podcast to talk through the position paper and what SLTs should be thinking about going forward. The recording from the listening event which was held as part of the consultation is also available, alongside a detailed FAQ document which covers many of the questions raised during the event.

We will also soon be publishing a suite of practice-based learning scenarios including three related to the use of thickened fluids to help SLTs consider how they may approach different service users.

Read the paper and access the resources