Making a meal of hospital nutrition

Director of nursing & quality Marie Thompsn (centre) and Assistant director of nursing Angie McKeane chat to patient Joe Davidson about a new project called 'Nutrition Mission' being launched at Blackpool Victoria hospital, stressing the importance of healthy food for patients.
Director of nursing & quality Marie Thompsn (centre) and Assistant director of nursing Angie McKeane chat to patient Joe Davidson about a new project called 'Nutrition Mission' being launched at Blackpool Victoria hospital, stressing the importance of healthy food for patients.

NURSES and doctors at Blackpool Victoria Hospital are on a nutrition mission.

The scheme is part of a national push to make sure all patients eat properly while in hospital, and for all medical staff to recognise the importance it plays in recovery.

Blackpool Vic is one of only a handful in the North West to be running such a project.

Marie Thompson, director of nursing and quality at the hospital trust, explained more about the project.

She said: “It’s our mission to make sure every single patient has enough to eat and drink while in hospital.

“How this is achieved will vary, depending on different wards and the needs of individual patients.

“Sometimes the issue of food can get overlooked, with everything being so busy and the focus being on medical care.

“Sometimes, it may involve helping patients with feeding, or encouraging relatives to help with feeding, or it might just be making sure there is adequate provision of food and drink.

“It has been recognised nationally what an important role nutrition plays for patients while in hospital.

“It promotes overall health and well-being, can reduce length of stay and aid with recovery and healing.”

Angie McKeane, assistant director of nursing, added: “There is a new focus for us on nutrition with this project.

“We do score well in patient surveys for food. Patients do enjoy our food. “The Nutrition Mission is about providing three meals a day, encouraging patients to eat all their food and if they need help to give them help.” Joe Davidson, a patient on Ward 18, said he felt the Nutrition Mission was a good idea.

The 49-year-old said: “I do think it’s a good thing as it is really important patients get good food and drink while they are in hospital.

“It’s not just the physical thing either, it can play a psychological role which is important when you are in hospital. A good meal is something you look forward while you are staying in hospital. I’ve been having ham salads and soups, so there are healthy choices on the menu. It does make you feel better to eat good, healthy food. It makes you physically feel stronger.