Afternoon tea goes down a treat with patients in Gateshead

Posted on Mon, 11/03/2019

From super-charged smoothies to afternoon teas and chocolate fountains – staff are serving up some special treats for patients in Gateshead.

This week is Nutrition and Hydration Week, which aims to highlight the importance of food and drink to people’s health and wellbeing.

Over the last six months, staff from Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust have been working with the NHS Improvement Nutrition and Hydration Collaborative to ensure patients are getting the right food and drink to support their recovery and prevent malnutrition.

The initiative has brought together a wide range of professionals working in the hospital and community including dietitians, nurses,  housekeepers, speech & language therapists, occupational therapists and activity coordinators.

 Nutrition nurse consultant, Madeleine Lee, said: “Not only is hydration and nutrition vital for clinical reasons, but mealtimes can also be an important time for social interaction and making food fun and enjoyable can really improve patients’ mood.

"We are very proud of the hard work that has been taking place across the trust, both on the wards and in the community to improve nutritional care for our patients."

On Ward 4, a weekly afternoon tea on a Tuesday and special treats on a Sunday are proving a real mood booster for patients, their families and staff.

Ashlie Kell, activity coordinator and ward nutrition champion, said: “The ward was keen to look at ways that we could improve nutritional care.

“We have introduced lots of healthy snacks during the week, like fruit platters. Then on a Tuesday afternoon and a Sunday we have special treats that help boost patients’ protein and calories.

“They have been creating a great atmosphere on the ward and visitors are invited to get involved too. Patients can have a chat with staff, other patients and their families and it encourages them to get active as well.”

Joyce Punton, who was visiting the ward where her husband Ken is a patient, said: “This is our first day on the ward and it was a lovely surprise to be invited along to afternoon tea. It is a really good way of bringing people together.”

Dr Hilary Lloyd, director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality, said: “There is some great work going on across the trust as a result of the Nutrition and Hydration Collaborative and it is very positive to see so many professionals working together, across both acute care and in the community.

“We will now be reflecting on the impact of this and agreeing an improvement programme going forward to ensure we can build on this great work and continue to improve the care we provide for our patients.”

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