Medway Community Healthcare (MCH) provides a wide range of high quality community health services for Medway residents; from health visitors and district nurses to speech and language therapists and out of hours urgent care.
Infants and children and young people (CYP) seen in MCH’s Children’s Feeding Clinics can have difficulties with feeding and/or swallowing and/or have difficulties with gaining adequate nutrition and hydration in order to grow and develop in a safe and healthy way.
Speech and Language Therapy Feeding Clinic
Infants and CYP seen in this clinic may have delays/difficulties with feeding, such as eating age appropriate textures/consistencies or difficulties drinking from certain receptacles.
Infants and CYP are also seen in this clinic if they have disordered feeding and swallowing (called dysphagia) which means a child is unable to prepare and swallow food/drink safely so that it goes down towards their stomach, rather than heading towards their lungs. Dysphagia usually occurs as a result of a primary diagnosis for example, neurological/ neuromuscular disorders, anatomical/structural differences, genetic disorders, secondary to systemic illness (illnesses that affect the body’s respiratory/gastrointestinal/ cardiac systems) and from being born prematurely.
Dietetic Feeding Clinic and Joint Feeding Clinics
Depending on the severity of the feeding difficulty and/or dysphagia, a child may need to be solely/additionally fed via a tube (aka. enterally-fed) directly into there stomach (PEG/PEJ) or through their nose (NG). If this is the case, a child may require sole/ joint input from a dietitian in order to make sure that they are able to receive enough nutrition and hydration in order to grow and develop healthily.
Please see the below presentation which details what to expect in each of the feeding clinics:
If you have concerns that your child is having difficulty or has a disorder of feeding and/or swallowing, please ask a health or educational professional to complete the feeding clinic referral form (below), giving as much information as possible. Once received, the feeding clinic team, consisting of speech and language therapists and dietitians will look at the referral and allocate to the appropriate feeding clinic.
How to access the service
Your GP, Consultant, Health Visitor, School Nurse or other Health Professional may refer to the service using the referral form below.