Doncaster hospital team up with Healthwatch to stress the importance of good nutrition

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A team of nutrition link nurses at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) have teamed up with Healthwatch Doncaster to promote the importance of good nutrition and hydration for patients while they are in hospital, which often helps speed up recovery.

The trust hosted a half day educational event to showcase how each ward makes sure its patients are getting what they need from their diet, to support them through their treatment. Staff were able to see examples of intravenous nutrition and hydration as well as share highlight specialist diets for patients with dysphagia, which is a difficulty or discomfort when swallowing.

Hannah Stirland, specialist nurse for nutrition at the DBTH, said: “It’s been very useful for nurses and healthcare assistants to learn about nutrition and hydration care on all of the wards here. We’ve all learnt so much from each other, taking away vital information away from the day to be shared in our various wards and departments. There’s always updates in the world of nutrition and hydration so it’s been a great opportunity for us all to learn new things and refresh our knowledge.”

Each ward entered an informative poster, specific to their area, into a competition which was judged by Andrew Goodall, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Doncaster and Suzanne Bolam, DBTH Therapies Lead. The winners were Wards 1 and 3 at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, which care for trauma patients. They were presented with a £50 voucher, kindly provided by Healthwatch, to purchase additional resources, to highlight the importance of hydration and nutrition for patients and their families visiting the wards.

Andrew said: “Healthwatch Doncaster was delighted to be involved by sponsoring the award given to Wards 1 and 3 for their winning effort. It was a fantastic atmosphere at the presentation ceremony and I was delighted to see the innovative and informative displays from the wards at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Signposting and information is one of Healthwatch Doncaster’s aims so it’s great to see these activities to provide information for service users.”

Specialist nurses at the Trust support Nutrition and Hydration Week, a national campaign which runs every year in March. More information can be found at www.nutritionandhydrationweek.co.uk.