Trust urges patients to embrace decaf with new QI pilot

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new Quality Improvement (QI) pilot program focused on improving patient health through the promotion of decaffeinated tea and coffee. This initiative, involving the Short Stay Ward and B5, aims to reduce patient falls and enhance bladder health.

The image shows members of the B5 Ward team with a patient and their visitor.

Caffeine, a natural stimulant found in tea and coffee, can exacerbate bladder sensitivity, leading to frequent urination and disruptions in daily life. By encouraging the switch to decaffeinated alternatives, the Trust anticipates significant improvements in bladder control, reduced bathroom visits, and a lowered risk of falls, particularly at night.

Other benefits of switching to decaffeinated tea and coffee include:

  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced noticeable/irregular heartbeats (palpitations)
  • Helps prevent dehydration and headaches
  • Reduced indigestion
  • Reduces risk of a condition that weakens bones (osteoporosis), as caffeine prevents absorption of calcium.

“Our pilot is designed to help patients manage their bladder health more effectively,” said Victoria Hazeldine, Deputy Chief Nurse at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust. “By promoting the benefits of decaffeinated beverages, we aim to reduce the negative impact of caffeine on the bladder, reduce falls and improve overall wellbeing. The research carried out so far has been showing up to a 30% reduction in falls! ”

The Trust recognises that some patients may be concerned about caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. To support them, the Trust is committed to offer ongoing guidance and personalised advice to help manage these side effects.

Helen Dobson, Chief Nurse at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust said “The aim of this pilot is to ensure a smooth transition to decaffeinated beverages, leading to improved bladder health and overall wellbeing for the patients in our care. We encourage everyone to participate in this initiative and experience the positive changes first-hand.”