Just what the doctor ordered

20 March 2014

West Middlesex University Hospital supported Nutrition and Hydration Week 2014 (17 – 23 March) with a variety of activities for staff, patients and visitors to learn about good nutrition and hydration.

West Middlesex University Hospital supported Nutrition and Hydration Week 2014 (17 – 23 March) with a variety of activities for staff, patients and visitors to learn about good nutrition and hydration.

Poor nutrition and hydration leads to poor health, increased and prolonged hospital admissions and increased cost to the NHS.

The campaign, now in its third year, is run by Patient Safety First, the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) and Hospital Catering Association’s (HCA) and aims to reinforce and focus energy and activity on nutrition and hydration for patients staying in hospital.

There were range of local initiatives to raise the profile of this very important safety issue at West Middlesex including taking part in a worldwide afternoon tea on Wednesday 19 March as part of Nutrition and Hydration Week.

Senior executives and ward sisters observed meal times, audited nursing records, and patients were observed to ensure they can reach a glass of water (unless nil by mouth).

Dietitians also set up a nutrition and hydration stall in the main atrium and hospital restaurant, providing information on healthy eating and drinking.

Dietitian, Michelle Jones, said: “‘whilst malnutrition is more common in older people, it is present in all age groups. Malnourished older people (over 65yrs) have twice as many hospital admissions compared with well-nourished older people.  Malnutrition is a serious problem - the consequences include vulnerability to infection, delayed wound healing, impaired function of heart and lungs, decreased muscle strength, depression, pressure sore and ultimately premature death.

“Malnutrition is treatable and could result in significant cost savings as well as improved quality of care. By ensuring our patients are well nourished and hydrated, overall outcomes are significantly improved. This week highlights the importance of the responsibility of all involved to ensure that patients in our care have the right nutrition and hydration at the right time.”