MEDICAL staff in South Tyneside were given a flavour of hospital meals in a bid to highlight the importance of patient nutrition.
Meal Service Monday saw volunteers from various departments at South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields take the opportunity to serve food and drink to patients at lunchtime and ask their views.
Bev Atkinson, executive director for nursing and patient safety, said: “This was a great opportunity for staff who aren’t normally involved in serving food or drink to patients to see what is entailed.
“High standards of nutrition and hydration care are not only important, to maintain quality of life and prevent unnecessary illness and injury, but they also improve outcomes for patients with acute and long-term conditions.
“We are extremely proud of the food we provide for our patients, the majority of which is fresh produce, sourced in the main from local suppliers and cooked on site.”
There are a number of procedures to ensure patients enjoy their food. This includes ‘protected mealtimes’ on adult wards which see, where possible, all activities stopped to enable nurses and their teams to concentrate on serving food and giving assistance.
Great-grandfather George Gray, 69, of South Shields, has the breathing condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
He said: “I can be in here several times a year, as I am prone to infections, so I’m very familiar with the meals, and the food is very good.
“The staff ask if it is at the right temperature and if you’ve enjoyed it, and, if you don’t fancy what you ordered, it’s never any trouble for them to get you something else.”