In support of national Nutrition and Hydration Week, which ran from 17 – 23 March, wards across the Trust took part in a series of successful activities and exercises to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition and hydration in health and social care settings.
The main event was a ‘worldwide afternoon tea’ on Wednesday 19 March, which saw wards in Dewsbury and Wakefield sit down to a traditional afternoon treat of fruit salad, fruit smoothie, a homemade shortbread biscuit, and a fruit scone.
Priestley unit in Dewsbury enjoyed an upmarket dining experience for their afternoon tea, bringing out the fine china, ornate teapots and best tablecloths to serve their lunch on. The unit’s baking group, who meet weekly, also contributed homemade cakes to the event.
Carla Wright, health care assistant, helped to host some of the activities on Chantry unit at Fieldhead in Wakefield. She said: “The service users really enjoyed the activities, especially the quizzes and the game we played which asked them to guess the amount of fluid in a number of different fruits. They learnt that they didn’t always have to have a drink to get fluid and it was a fun way to gain knowledge.”
The Trust’s catering team also provided a platter to Chantry with help from Catering Xtra, who run catering facilities from the Oasis Centre and the restaurant at Fieldhead. Carla commented: “The spread the catering teams sent to us went down really well with the service users. They were laughing at the weird colour of a green smoothie, but when they tried it, they loved it! We’re now looking into providing smoothies to service users who may find it difficult to eat fruit as they really enjoyed them and it’s a good way for them to get the right nutrition and hydration.”
Shirley, a service user on Chantry unit, said: “The afternoon tea was beautiful. I have never had a smoothie before, but I really liked it.”
Dennis, another service user at Chantry, continued: “I would give the scones nine out of 10! The smoothies tasted lovely and I know that if I drank a lot of them I would be full.”
Ward 19 at Priestley unit – a 30 bed ward for older people with mental health conditions – used the week to celebrate the significant work they have undertaken to improve the health and wellbeing of service users. The unit recently set up a lunch group, where service users can prepare what they would like to eat for lunch every Wednesday, along with a breakfast group which allows people to prepare their morning meal from Monday to Friday.
Various units in Wakefield, including the Bretton Centre – a low secure forensic unit – and Newton Lodge – a medium secure forensic unit – showed their support for the week with activities such as word searches and food quizzes.
Joanne Eaton, catering manager, said: “The whole week went down really well, and because it was made into a social event, everyone loved it. The scones especially were a big hit as they were something different for people. We’re looking at introducing more smoothies to replace the fruit that loses its quality because it isn’t in season – this way the service users can still get the correct nutrition and hydration from the drinks. It’s also much easier for people to enjoy a nice smoothie than eat a very large portion of fruit.”
Joanne’s catering team works closely with the Nutrition and Dietetics Service, clinical staff and service users to ensure that the meals provided to people on the wards not only provide the correct nutrition, but are also popular with service users.
Barbara Tootle, advanced dietitian at the Trust, said: “The whole week was a huge success. Service users on our wards not only had the chance to take part in some different activities which they all really enjoyed, but also learnt a lot about how important good nutrition and hydration is in aiding their recovery.”
Nutrition and Hydration Week is an annual initiative supported by the Hospital Caterers Association and the British Dietetic Association. To find out more about this year’s event, visit http://www.nutritionandhydrationweek.co.uk/