Measuring the impact of Speech and Language Therapy for children with eating swallowing difficulties

Bev Curtis, Speech and Language Therapist

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

This Bevan Fellow project developed and evaluated a new outcome measure of paediatric dysphagia, i.e. eating/drinking/swallowing difficulties in children.


Medical advances enable an increasing population of children to survive. These children often present with complex, continuing healthcare needs including dysphagia. Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are key professionals in the assessment and management of dysphagia.

Previously, no outcome measure of paediatric dysphagia existed. This presented challenges in measuring the effectiveness of interventions, evidencing bids for staffing, effective benchmarking and measuring improvements in care for this vulnerable population.

The prevalence and severity of paediatric dysphagia and its management in Wales is unknown, because of the lack of data. This measure will allow for the collection of powerful, national datasets which will facilitate enhanced audit and quality assurance, in turn reducing health inequality and driving up standards.




What can PaedD-TOM do?

Next steps

“Using “PaedD-TOM enables me to objectively gauge my impact on my patients across a range of domains.”

“It helps guide my decision-making and plan for family-centred care.”

“PaedD-TOM demonstrates how quality clinical practice can make a difference to the patients and families we care for.”

Feedback from users

Part of cohort Bevan Exemplar Projects 2018-19