We know that where food is served in the right kind of
atmosphere then satisfaction increases, more food is eaten and
better nutrition is provided. We also know the very positive impact
that the right levels of nutrition can have in helping recovery,
which is why we are running a pilot scheme and have appointed a
"We know that patients, for a variety of reasons, sometimes need
extra help and support at mealtimes. As a nutritional assistant I'm
on the ward working with nursing staff to provide this support,"
says Danielle Dove
"We've made some changes to the way we do things at mealtimes
which are benefitting patients. We're very supportive of 'protected
mealtimes' so each ward has a set time when meals are served and
eaten and no visits or interruptions from medical staff take place
during this time. We've set aside time before meals to help
patients get ready, so that they were washed, comfortable and ready
for their meal when it arrives and we've staggered mealtimes across
the different wards to allow staff to move around the wards and
provide extra support where it is needed. For example, on ward 12
which is orthopaedic trauma patients sometime need extra physical
support with their meal.
"While in hospital patients have their dietary and nutritional
needs assessed and we use a nutritional screening tool to identify
patients at risk. We've also made snacks and meals more readily
available out of normal hours for people who may be admitted to the
ward late at night or early in the morning.
"While we've made a lot of improvements we know there is still
more to do and we will continue listening to and acting on feedback
received from our patients."
Published: 19 April 2012
'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly,
efficiently and professionally with full explanations and
compassion from all staff involved'.
Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital