Food for thought at local hospitals
In celebration of Nutrition and Hydration Week (14-20 March
2016), County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is
showcasing a range of initiatives aimed at ensuring patients have
good nutritional care.
These include the introduction of a finger food version of the
regular menu with both warm and cold options available for patients
who find it easier to eat without cutlery, which is sometimes
linked to dementia. Nutritional snacks are also being
introduced to help meet the needs of patients at risk of
Jennie Winnard, head of nutrition and dietetics, said, "Simple
ideas are often the best and we constantly put ourselves in our
patient's shoes to ensure we meet their needs. For example,
making sure older patients, in particular, get enough to drink can
be challenging. So we're introducing Simple Measure Mugs
which have a measuring scale on the inside, giving an accurate, at
a glance, reading of how much has been drunk. This helps
monitor the intake of patients reluctant to drink or who are at
risk of dehydration.
"Following Nutrition and Hydration Week, we will be launching'
the perfect meal'. New menus, introduced last year, have been
very well received so we're now shining a spotlight on the culture
around mealtimes so our patients have the best experience
"For the third year running, on the 16 March, we will host an
afternoon tea party at Darlington Memorial Hospital in association
with Age UK. Our catering teams are serving each inpatient a
scone with jam and cream along with their afternoon hot
"Nutrition and Hydration Week is an opportunity to focus on this
aspect of patient care, but our nutrition and dietetic team, which
includes dedicated specialist nurses, work constantly to meet the
nutrition and hydration needs of all our patients."
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community