Better Care

Further advice/support

What is dysphagia?

Dysphagia is a difficulty with eating and/or drinking.
This could include a difficulty with swallowing; or with coordinating lip, tongue and jaw movements to chew and move food around the mouth. Dysphagia can also be a difficulty accepting new textures or foods due to sensory difficulties. These difficulties can be present from birth or can develop as the child gets older. 

Who do we see?

Birmingham Community Healthcare offer support for children under 19 and in full time education  with the following feeding difficulties:

  1. Are at risk of food or drink going down the wrong way into their lungs. This is known as aspiration*.
  2. Who have a history of repeated chest infections/pneumonia.
  3. Are preterm or a baby with a neurological problem/medical condition associated with feeding difficulties, e.g. Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy
  4. Are being weaned off a feeding tube
  5. Have a tracheostomy tube
  6. Have problems with food and drink when it is in their mouth or throat
  7. Show extreme reactions to food and drink which e.g. distress, gagging, vomiting etc. 

 *Signs of aspiration include coughing, choking, changes to colour or breathing, wet sounding voice. We would recommend you refer your child to us if you are seeing these signs regularly during mealtimes. 

Duty:  We have a duty speech and language therapist available to answer queries 3 times per week. If you would like to speak with a speech and language therapist and do not currently have an open referral please call the admin team on 0121 466 3370 option 2, and leave a message with your child’s name, NHS number, contact number and details of your concern. One of the duty therapists will then contact you. We can provide some advice over the phone but may suggest you make a referral for an in depth assessment using the referral form.  

What is the process?

Dys contact us box

Click here to download the Children and Families Referral form for all services.