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Hospital supports Nutrition and Hydration Week

Staff at York Hospital have launched a week long campaign to highlight the importance of nutrition and hydration for patients staying in hospital.

The hospital is supporting Nutrition and Hydration Week organised by the NHS National Patient Safety Agency and Patient Safety First.

Information is being displayed around the hospital and a new 'red jug' initiative is being trialled on certain wards to raise awareness of patients who are particularly vulnerable to dehydration. Any patient with a water jug with a red lid will be monitored even more carefully by nursing staff to make sure they have the correct intake of fluids.

Jill Watson, dietitian at York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, said: "More than a quarter of patients are malnourished when they come into hospital. When people are admitted to hospital our job is to assess their nutritional requirements and provide advice where it is needed.

"There are also many reasons why patients can become malnourished while in hospital. Anything from swallowing problems, nausea or vomiting, pain or infection, or a simple lack of appetite can really affect a patient's ability to take in the right amount of food or fluids. The consequences can be very serious resulting in anything from pressure sores and increased risk of infection to low mood and delayed healing.

"We are focusing on keeping people well nourished while they are in hospital so they can get better as quickly as possible. Patients are assessed and monitored and we have a process for screening those at risk so that we can provide the correct care plan during their stay in hospital."

Libby McManus, Chief Nurse, said: "Ensuring good nutrition and hydration is a fundamental part of caring properly for our patients. Poor nutrition and hydration leads to poor health, increased and prolonged hospital admissions, and more cost to the NHS.

"We really wanted to raise awareness of how important good nutrition and hydration is with this national campaign but it doesn't stop there - it is something we are committed to for 52 weeks of the year both in hospital and out in the community. We are always looking at ways to improve patient care."

27 January 2012

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