Introduction A balanced diet and adequate fluid intake is important, especially for those with a life-shortening condition. In 2016 St Catherine’s Hospice formed a Nutrition Focus Group, tasked with ensuring person-centred nutritional care for patients.
Aims To develop initiatives to increase food and fluid intake for patients. To re-awaken appetite in patients whose conditions have affected their desire to eat and drink. To widen choices. To modernise the presentation of meals, snacks and refreshments to better reflect the quality of dishes being served. To ensure meals, snacks and refreshments are served in an accessible way. To improve access to nutritious food for families 24/7.To promote the social element of sharing food and drink with loved ones.
Method We have made various improvements around three themes:
Food/drink/snacks. Extended choice on refreshments trolley to include filter coffee, fruit teas, fruit platters and smoothies. Continue to offer personalised choices alongside daily set menu. Continue to offer suggestions to those struggling to make food choices. Improved the variation in the pureed/soft foods menu
Accessibility. Invested in specialist equipment. Opened coffee bar in gift shop selling drinks, snacks and home–cooked ready meals 24 hours a day
Socialisation/normalisation. Invested in new trays and cutlery. Introduced linen napkins to improve the experience of having a meal and develop its sense of occasion. Refurbished the conservatory into a comfortable space where patients and loved ones can enjoy refreshments together. Invested in new moulds to improve the presentation of pureed/soft foods.
Evaluation Feedback is positive:
‘My appetite has been dire for last 18 months and since being here has vastly improved’, in-patient.
‘Mum sometimes is not aware of what she wants so ideas are good’, daughter of an in-patient.
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