The complex nature of dysphagia and its associated communication impairment in children demands a rethink regarding the delivery of clinical services. Contemporary international trends in the literature were the impetus for the development of a novel service delivery model, the Interdisciplinary Dysphagia Clinic (IDC). This paper reviews the philosophy behind and the development of this new service and discusses emerging themes. These themes included the de-medicalisation of health; complexity theory and interdisciplinary teams; the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health; family-focused services within an increasingly harsh economic climate; the widespread uptake of evidence based practice; stringent quality assurance practices; sophisticated data collection and information management systems and growing client/consumer empowerment with easy and increased access to information via the Internet. In addition to the development of a new holistic service for clients and their families, innovative student clinical education opportunities within paediatric dysphagia have been created.
ACQ Acquiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing Vol. 5, Issue 2, p. 79-82