Friday, 18 March 2016

Nutrition and Hydration week: Dining Companions by Peter Homa

Thank you to colleagues who kindly volunteered to be a ‘dining companion’ this week, serving food to patients at mealtimes on wards at QMC and City.  

It is a pleasure to spend time working alongside colleagues who strive to deliver the best possible patient care. My shift started at breakfast time on FlemingWard. The first meal of the day for patients was meticulously co-ordinated to make sure patients get their dish of choice.  
Staff do all they can to ensure patients get the appropriate nutrition and hydration, which is an essential part of their recovery. Without good nutrition and hydration, patients are more likely to stay in hospital longer.

Our busy ward teams each work hard to make sure patients have a good meal to aid their recovery and make them feel better. Our recent CQC Report endorsed this. I was pleased today to see this in action.

Thank you to colleagues from across NUH who have supported Nutrition & Hydration week, which is an important part of our Trust-wide patient safety programme. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Nutrition and Hydration week: What is MUST? by Rebecca Peterson

Why is ‘MUST’ so important?

‘MUST’ is a malnutrition screening tool we use to highlight any potential nutritional problems a patient may have at the point of admission. We do it early – within 24 hours of admission - to prevent it affecting a patient’s wellbeing while in hospital.

MUST helps us gain a full picture of a patient’s health, not just their initial reason for admission, and enables us to make appropriate referrals to other members of the multi-disciplinary team. 

MUST provides a baseline for long term plans to be made. It enables Dietitians to understand a patient’s nutritional status and how much nutritional support they may need. It leads nursing staff to complete a food and drink care plan to manage individual needs.

MUST does what it says on the tin: screens for malnutrition so we as health professionals can work with patients to try and make things better.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Nutrition and Hydration week: Afternoon tea party by By Emily Mulvaney and Angieszka Polok.

Today ward C5 is one of many wards across the Trust hosting an afternoon tea party for nutrition and hydration week. The events help us increase awareness of the importance of nutrition and hydration for effective recovery and will be part of a world record attempt to hold the most afternoon tea parties on multiple sites at the same time.

Many of our patients are older and are admitted with fragility fractures after a fall so we are tailoring our party for our patients with a traditional, vintage theme. We are serving a spread of cucumber, fish paste, salmon, potted meat soft cobs and sandwiches with fondant fancie cakes and jam tarts jam tarts as well as a healthy supply of fruits. These are all finger foods to ensure all patients can take part and are reminiscent of foods our patients used to eat when they were younger.

We have received some generous contributions from local supermarkets. Sainsbury’s and Lidl have donated vouchers and Tesco have donated fruit.

This event involves the whole ward and we’re lucky to have such a dedicated, supportive team on C5. Carolynne, our fabulous receptionist, has made sandwiches and she and our HCA, Teresa, assisted with shopping. Ann, our Food Service Assistant, regularly gives up her own time for us and will be on hand throughout the day.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Nutrition and Hydration week: 'Think Drink' by Pam Whitehead and Chloe Nicholson.

The Think Drink Project Group is a multidisciplinary patient safety group with expert clinical knowledge in nursing, dietetics, anaesthesia and pre-assessment. Excessive fasting before an operation is not pleasant or beneficial for patients and can prolong their recovery after surgery by increasing nausea and pain. We looked at ways of minimising fasting times for our pre-operative patients.

Patients waiting for surgery can be reluctant to drink. However, those with a clear two hour window before anaesthesia may be given an approved drink. To reduce patient’s length of time without a drink before theatre we developed the ‘Think Drink’ moment: the theatre team assess which patients can continue to drink while waiting for their operation and communicate with ward staff to ensure the patients know their allowance and that appropriate drinks are provided.

The ‘Think Drink’ initiative began in the Burns & Plastic operating theatre but then quickly widened to incorporate all elective, emergency and paediatric pathways at City hospital and QMC. At one site it was decided that emergency patients could have a light breakfast Monday to Thursday and fluids until 10.00am as the emergency theatre didn’t start until 12.30pm. We now collect fluid fasting times through a computerised system to chart the progress of Think Drink. 

Monday, 14 March 2016

Nutrition and Hydration week: Mealtimes matter at NUH.

Throughout this week we’ll be bringing you a series of blogs from staff to tell you how they are getting involved in Nutrition and Hydration week.

Here is the first blog form Karen Draper and Libby Walters from ward B3.

Mealtimes matter at NUH.

‘Mealtimes matter’ is a Trust-wide campaign to improve the nutrition and hydration of patients and is something we take seriously on ward B3.

One of the main principles is that all non-urgent tasks stop to prioritise mealtimes. However, B3 is a busy ward, admitting around 25 acutely unwell patients per day. Although we recognise the importance of ‘mealtimes matter’ we can’t avoid urgent tests and treatments during meals.

If a patient does miss out on a meal because of a treatment or test, or because they were admitted to the ward after menu cards have been filled out, then we make sure we offer a replacement or alternative meal as soon as possible. It’s important that every patient receives a meal and that the meal is to their liking and meets their individual dietary needs.

Good nutrition and hydration will boost mood, promote healing, reduce the risk of a fall and ultimately lead to a shorter stay in hospital and will always be a priority. We’re always looking for ways to improve meal times on the ward. For example, we were the first ward to successfully implement the serving of all courses separately which has improved patients’ food intake.