July 10, 2008

Praise for Patients’ Nutrition Plan

A Scheme designed to improve nutrition at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital has been judged a resounding success by a charity for older people.

Protected mealtimes were introduced in general and elderly medical wards last September.

They involve planned periods on hospital wards when all non- urgent clinical activity stops so patients are able to eat without being interrupted and staff can offer assistance.

The idea was one of seven recommendations in Age Concern's national report "Hungry to be Heard - The Scandal of Malnourished Older People in Hospital".

The document revealed that 40 per cent of pensioners were malnourished on admission and 60 per cent were at risk of their nutritional state worsening during their time as an inpatient.

A Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust working party worked out how to improve nutrition in older people in line with the recommendations.

Christina Snell, chief executive of Age Concern Gloucestershire, said: "I was welcomed with open arms when I approached the trust. I am delighted they are taking this seriously and I believe this is a great example of partnership working."

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