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Nutrition & Hydration Week

Nutrition & Hydration Week

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 under-nutrition.

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 possible. 

"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 drink. 

"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."

'I cannot commend the clinic enough. It is marvellous we have this service at all and well done to you all.'

Patient, Coronary Heart Disease / Heart Failure Service, Shotley Bridge Community Hospital