Turning the spotlight on nutrition
Staff at West Suffolk Hospital are to take part in a national initiative to raise awareness of the impact which good food and drink can have on patients’ recovery.
Nutrition and hydration week, organised by the National Patient Safety Agency and Patient Safety First, runs from Monday 23 to Sunday 29 January. During the week, West Suffolk will be displaying information in Time Out, the staff restaurant, while the hospital will also arrange quizzes for staff, visitors and patients to ensure nutrition remains in the spotlight.
On Friday (27 January), staff will hold an information stall in the main entrance between 1.30pm and 4.30pm. Anyone is welcome to come along and ask questions.
The special week comes in addition to a range of initiatives already in place to promote good nutrition across the hospital, which include:
regularly weighing inpatients and carrying out nutritional risk assessments to identify anyone who may benefit from a special diet;
using colour-coded trays to show which patients may need extra help to eat and drink;
training 12 volunteers to help feed patients at mealtimes, with more training planned in the near future
enforcing ‘protected mealtimes’ on wards so that patients can eat without interruption from clinical staff or visitors
offering special menus for people with small appetites, as some people can be put off if there is too much on their plate
carrying out ward rounds every two hours to visit every patient and check they have enough to drink
Nichole Day, executive chief nurse at the hospital, said: “Good nutrition can have a significant impact on recovery, so it is really important to provide our patients with high quality, balanced and appetising meals. We are proud of the food we provide at West Suffolk Hospital, all of which is produced inhouse by our catering team.
“Feedback from our patients about the quality of the meals we serve has been really good. We were also rated as ‘excellent’ following the annual Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) inspection, while our food attracted positive comments following a recent Care Quality Commission inspection.
“We have lots of initiatives in place to promote good nutrition, such as regularly weighing inpatients and carrying out specific risk assessments to identify anyone who may benefit from a special diet. We also make sure patients who need it are given extra help to eat and drink, and take part in a variety of national campaigns to help maintain our focus on the importance of good nutrition across the Trust.”
For more information about nutrition and hydration week, visit www.patientsafetyfirst.nhs.uk and follow the links from the homepage.