Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust joined the global celebrations of Nutrition and Hydration week in March, with plenty of activities to highlight the importance of good nutrition and hydration to both staff and patients.
Keeping hydrated and promoting good nutritional health was identified as one of the priorities in the Trust’s 2015/16 Quality Account, which outlines what the Trust is doing to improve the quality of care for patients.
Dr Alison Diamond, chief executive of the Trust, said: “It’s been an amazing week and this year we have got more people involved than ever before.
“There has been an incredible amount of extra activity to highlight the great work we are doing to promote good nutrition and hydration and raise awareness even further.”
From 13-17 March, lots of different food and drink were added to the menu for patients at North Devon District Hospital, including smoothies, muffins, exotic fruit and sugar-free fizzy drinks. Children on Caroline Thorpe ward had a fun trayliner to use during the week, complete with food-themed colouring-in and a quiz.
Volunteers helped out with extra drinks rounds for patients and more staff helped out during patient mealtimes, including the chief executive, Dr Alison Diamond.
An afternoon of fun activities was held at Bideford Community Hospital, where pre-school children and care home residents came along to learn more about nutrition and hydration.
New information leaflets were launched to be given out by the Trust’s community teams to patients receiving care at home, as well as bookmarks that remind people to drink water regularly.
The Trust’s care homes team took bottled water out to staff in care homes when delivering training sessions, and encouraged them to get residents involved with exotic fruit tasting and nutritious smoothies.
There were numerous competitions to get staff talking about nutrition and hydration, including a healthy lunchbox competition, baking competition and hydration quiz. Staff were also given water bottles and encouraged to keep themselves hydrated so they can look after their patients better.
Andrea Bell, deputy director of nursing and head of professional practice, said: “The feedback from many of our staff has been that they will apply what they’ve learned into their regular practice and this means the positive impacts will be felt far beyond the week’s activities.
“A massive thank you to everyone who has contributed and given their time to help.”
The aim of Nutrition and Hydration week is to raise awareness of nutrition and hydration as a fundamental element of maintaining the health and wellbeing of our health communities.