The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has supported a national campaign to raise awareness of the importance of good nutrition and hydration.
Events across the Trust where held in March by Specialist Dietitians, Consultant Nurses and other staff and volunteers as part of a call to action to improve awareness and understanding of the significance of good nutrition and hydration.
There is evidence that poor nutrition and hydration contributes to poor patient experience and can overall have a negative impact on patients’ health and wellbeing, in some cases reducing their ability to recover.
The campaign which was organised locally by Emma Hall, Dietician, highlighted general promotion of good nutrition and hydration and the health benefits this can bring. Activities held included offering free food and drink samples through an event in Rotherham Hospital’s main entrance and, at this time, staff also promoted the use of red cups and jug lids on wards to help identify patients potentially at higher risk of dehydration due their medical or physical condition. Departmental management staff stepped out of their usual role and helped on the wards with meal service.
March also saw the promotion of a new-style of ‘fluid balance chart’, used for in-patients, which help to monitor hydration.
Derek Bainbridge, Nurse Consultant at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust said: “The New Fluid balance chart was one element of a bundle of actions to help staff monitor hydration and nutrition needs for our patients. The new-style charts are in place across our wards and the recent Hydration and Nutrition events gave us an ideal opportunity to promote their use.
“I’d like to thank all staff, including all members of the Task and Finish group, catering colleagues and volunteers, who have helped to support us.”
Food at Rotherham Hospital was recently upheld as its catering contractor, ISS Healthcare, was named the first catering contractor within the NHS to achieve the Soil Association’s Food for Life Bronze Standard Award.
The Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark is an independent endorsement that the caterer is taking steps to improve its food by using fresh ingredients, foods that are free from harmful additives and by using products that promote animal welfare.