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The Friends at Broomfield Hospital have kindly funded state-of-the-art technology to enable the Speech and Language Therapy team to provide advanced assessment for patients with swallowing and voice disorders.

Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) will benefit a wide patient group who present with oropharyngeal dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). People with dysphagia frequently include those with neurological disorders, patients who have had an acute stroke, and those who have undergone treatment for head and neck cancer.

The use of this equipment is designed to reduce the risk of malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration pneumonia, prolonged tube feeding, readmission and to allow for a safer and faster discharge from hospital.

It is also of benefit in the use of Videostroboscopy; allowing for detailed assessment and management of voice disorders.

The equipment is operated by speech and language therapists, whose training has been supported by ENT in the use of the nasendoscope. The scope is connected to a screen which then provides instrumental guided imaging to assess swallowing and/or voice function. It is portable and easy to use, directly at a patient’s bedside.

On Tuesday, August 7, the Friends at Broomfield Hospital officially presented the equipment, which totalled £39,700, to the Speech and Language Therapy team.

David Curtin, Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (Head and Neck Oncology) said: “The purchase of this equipment enables us to complete specialist assessment of voice and swallowing disorders. It sets us apart as we are currently the only speech and language therapy service within Essex offering such specialist assessment.

“It is indicated for use in a select group of patients. It allows for speedier assessment, helping us to formulate and expedite patient management decisions on the wards and in clinics, with an evident improvement in patient care. The Speech and Language Therapy Department are most grateful for this substantial investment from the Friends; and look forward to using it to improve patient care over the coming years.”

Alison Douglas, chairman of the Friends at Broomfield Hospital, said: “The Friends were very pleased to be able to fund this important piece of equipment and support the staff in carrying out their vital work helping patients with complex swallowing and speech difficulties.


“We were very happy to give this donation, which was raised solely from the profits generated from our two shops and our daily trollies that go round the wards. It makes all of our volunteers’ hard work worthwhile.”

“The Friends – Supporting your hospital, supporting you”