Food and drink provide a vital contribution for people recovering from illness and for those at risk of malnutrition. Ashford and St Peter’s have marked the week by celebrating nutrition and hydration initiatives, looking at best practice and involving non-clinical staff in various events across the two hospitals.

Nutrition and Hydration week (17th -23rd of March) aimed to create a global movement that will reinforce and focus energy, activity and engagement on good diet and having enough to drink as an important part of quality care, experience and safety improvement in health and social care settings.

Nina Cron, Specialist Nurse Nutrition Support, said:

“Food and drink are important parts of our daily lives and we use them to connect and celebrate. Joining patients on the ward and encouraging and assisting people to eat and drink makes a big difference to their day. Our mealtime volunteer initiative, led by Chief Executive Andrew Liles, does just this; a group of non-clinical staff, who don’t normally work on the wards, regularly help give out meals to patients and assist them with their eating.

“During the week we also looked at best practice across our hospitals with regards to food and fluid charts and mouth care. Patients who are unable to eat and drink will have appropriate specialist input from a Dietitian, Speech and Language Therapist, Nutrition Support Team and Specialist Nurse to ensure they get their nutrition but need extra mouth care to keep them comfortable; brushing teeth and regular mouth care is essential.

“We have also marked the week with events, encouraging all members of staff to join in. We held a Global Afternoon Tea at the Trust and provided cakes for our patients during the afternoon tea round, and our Nutrition Steering Committee and other staff joined ward staff and patients for the evening drinks rounds, another opportunity to ensure our patients are getting the best possible nutrition and hydration.

 

The top picture shows Mealtime volunteers assisting with mealtimes on our wards