As part of world-wide Nutrition and Hydration Week, staff at Salisbury District Hospital held a range of events to highlight the importance of good nutritional care and how food and mealtimes can be used to provide additional support for patients in hospital.
Good nutrition and hydration is an important part of the quality of care given to patients, enhancing their safety, recovery and overall experience while they are in hospital.
During the week speech and language therapists promoted the new range of modified texture meals such as pureed lunches and dinners to raise awareness of different food textures, with dieticians promoting pre-thickened supplementary drinks. Both are essential to support good nutrition in patients with swallowing difficulties.
As part of the Elevate programme, patients on Winterslow Ward were able to enjoy tea and cake from the vintage tea trolley and have a sing a long at their bedside, entertained by a musician and 1950s style tea party hostess. Activities linked to years gone by are proving beneficial for patients with dementia and enjoyable for those who need some form of social stimulation while in hospital. The week of activities finished with cream teas being served to patients on all wards.
Ian Robinson, Head of Facilities said: “There are a number of initiatives taking place in hospital to ensure that our patients receive good nutrition and hydration. This includes new signage to promote protected mealtimes, support to help patients eat and a review of food choices for patients who need texture modified meals. We also introduced new water coolers so that patents have good access to chilled water.”
Lorna Wilkinson, Director of Nursing said: “Regular review of all our processes around nutritional care are essential. It’s also important that our staff feel supported with education and professional development in this area and that we promote good practice. Nutrition and Hydration Week gave us an opportunity to highlight the importance of food choices and availability and the role good food plays in our patients’ recovery.”