Throughout the week, the Trust has been running different initiatives as part of our Making Mealtimes Matter campaign, which has been organised to coincide with Nutrition and Hydration Week.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition to aid our patients’ recovery, as well as showcasing the work going on around the Trust to improve patient mealtimes.
During the week, members of our Trust Board have been joining ward staff and assisting with mealtime services for patients.
On Monday, Lee Budge, Director of Corporate Business, joined staff on Meldon Ward.
Bev Allingham, Deputy Director of Nursing was on hand to serve meals on Shaugh Ward.
On Wednesday, Nick Thomas, Director of Planning and Site Services, joined staff on Brent Ward, as well as Richard Crompton, Chairman on Honeyford Ward, Steven Keith, Director of People on Marlborough Ward, Sian Dennison, Head of Nursing (Cancer) on Monkswell Ward, and many more enthusiastic staff, willing to support the campaign.
Anna Orrock, Director of Clinical Professions, also helped to serve on Stonehouse Ward.
After his service on Meldon Ward, Lee said: “It was an absolute privilege to be able to serve some of our patients on Meldon Ward. It was great to see the amazing nurse and catering teams providing kindness and compassion to the people in our care.
“I was particularly struck by the fact that the whole of the team, including medical, nursing and physiotherapy, all worked together to promote this important initiative. It was also great to see the real sense of team within the ward.”
Earlier in the week, we held an event in the main concourse offering patients, visitors, staff and members of the public the opportunity to sample some of our dishes from the proposed new patient menu and talk to hospital staff about aspects of nutrition and hydration.
Matrons were on hand to discuss the importance of keeping hydrated, how patients nutritional intake can be improved through protected mealtimes and improving the mealtime experience and dietetic staff were available to advise on the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) assessments and explain its importance. The event was a huge success and the feedback was extremely positive.
Other initiatives throughout the week included:
• A cream tea served to all patients at Tea with Matron on the afternoon of Wednesday 16th March. This initiative was planned to coincide with The Global Tea Party, where afternoon tea was served in health and social care settings, promoting Nutrition & Hydration Week, the work organisations do every day and showing how to improve nutritional intake.
• Our dietetic staff supported our Dietetic Link Nurses to conduct micro MUST teaching sessions on the wards throughout the week.
• Monday was Breakfast Day, promoting the most important meal of the day. Patients were offered croissants and yogurt as additional items to the usual breakfast menu. Serco also launched their new Healthy Breakfast Bar in the Restaurant on Level 7. Staff could enjoy a range of juices, cereals, yogurt, dried fruits, nuts and seeds as an alternative to the usual full English.
• On Tuesday, patients were offered an additional snack with their bedtime drink.
• At afternoon tea on Thursday, patients were offered to try the range of cakes from the proposed new patient snack menu.
• Staff and visitors to the Restaurant on Thursday were offered the opportunity to trade their Meal Deal bottle of fizzy drink for two bottles of water as part of the Think 2 drink campaign.
• Fruity Friday, at the end of the week, offered patients a fresh fruit salad in place of their usual hot dessert.
• Visitors to the DHLC were invited to graze from some platters of complimentary and delicious fresh fruit.
Liz McGuffog, Hotel Services Service Lead for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “It has been a very successful week and I am hugely grateful to all those people who have offered up their time to help support the various initiatives throughout the week.
“On top of everyone’s workload, I am amazed that our ward staff have been able to find the extra energy to put on their own initiatives in support of the week. Congratulations to Meldon Ward who masterminded a different afternoon tea theme for every day of the week.
“It is a great feeling when all of the plans come together and it’s especially satisfying when you can see that it makes a difference to our patients and visitors.”