A special checklist is among a number of new measures a clinical team are rolling out to help improve the way patients eat and drink.
These also include personalised noticeboards with patient’s own eating requirements on and changes to the way staff help with meal service and to protected mealtimes as well as creating a new standard operating procedure.
Cheryl Camilleri, a nursing sister in the urology unit at the University Hospital of North Tees, is leading on the changes as part of an improvement project.
As part of this, Cheryl has been working with staff at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust to learn from their six step checklist staff follow.
This includes observing the position of the patient, hand washing, oral care, making sure the area is prepared, checking if any help is needed and that all patients have eaten and drank.
Once the trial is complete, Cheryl and the Trust’s nutrition and hydration collaborative group aim to roll it out across the organisation.
Cheryl said: “We know that the right nutrition and hydration of patients in our care is vital in helping with their recovery.
“Patients who eat and drink in the right way have a faster recovery.
“I have been working with a team of staff in the Trust as part of a special collaborative – these changes are the result of this work as well shared good practice with staff in a neighbouring Trust who had been using a six step checklist. This will help prompt all staff so that patients are eating and drinking as they should be.
“We are also encouraging all staff to take ownership over serving patients their meals and ensuring patients are not disturbed during mealtimes.
“I am now working with a team of nutrition and hydration champions in the ward who will help communicate these changes to all staff.
“With the support of the whole team we can help provide the very best care to our patients.”