Hospitals aim to help people in South Tyneside and Sunderland eat properly

Lucy Matheson, lead dietitian at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, giving a patient a nutrition assessment
Lucy Matheson, lead dietitian at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, giving a patient a nutrition assessment

Good nutrition and hydration will be on the menu at South Tyneside and Sunderland hospitals next week.

The aim is to highlight the importance of food and drink to people’s health and wellbeing.

South Tyneside and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts are supporting Nutrition & Hydration Week the week from March 11 to 17 with a programme of activities encouraging good nutrition and hydration for patients and staff.

The Trusts’ nutrition and hydration steering group has organised a number of events at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.

These include a Big Breakfast on Monday to promote the most important meal of the day, and Fruity Friday when patients and staff will be offered fruit.

During the week, hospital patients will also be offered sweet treats of cakes or scones.

Melanie Johnson, executive director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals, said: “Good nutrition and hydration have a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being and are especially important when people are ill and as they get older.

“We always do everything we can to ensure our patients’ needs are met at drink and meal times.

“There are a number of reasons why people can become malnourished, particularly as they get older, including difficulty in eating and swallowing, an inability to absorb nutrients, depression or isolation, and lessening of taste which can make eating less pleasurable.”

She added: “Dehydration can contribute to problems including confusion and falls and can even lead to kidney problems.

“The is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about malnutrition and dehydration.”