Nutrition and Hydration Week focuses on quality of care

This week (17–23 March) is Nutrition and Hydration week, with the aim of creating a global movement that will focus attention on nutrition and hydration as an important factor in healthcare provision.

Part of the promotion of Nutrition and Hydration Week looks specifically at how food and drink are part of the whole care package and the campaign highlights ten key characteristics of good nutritional care: 

  • Deliver food service and nutritional care safely
  • Maintain an environment conducive to people enjoying their meals and being able to safely consume their food and drinks, such as ‘protected mealtimes’ 
  • Support a multi-disciplinary approach to nutritional care, and value the contribution of staff, service users, carers and volunteers
  • Include guidance on food service and nutritional care in service delivery and accountability arrangements
  • Screen all patients and service-users to identify malnourishment or risk of malnourishment
  • Design facilities and services that focus on the needs of the people using them
  • Create a personal care or support plan for each patient or service-user, and give them input to identify their nutritional care and fluids needs
  • Ensure that staff and volunteers have appropriate skills and competencies, and receive regular training
  • Involve patients and service-users in planning and monitoring arrangements for food services and drinks provision 
  • Create a policy for food service and nutritional care that focuses on the needs of users.

Nutrition and Hydration Week is supported by a raft of UK and international organisations, including the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) and the Hospital Caterers’ Association.

To get more information on hydration and to add to your CPD portfolio, visit the JCN’s Learning Zone here

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