Your food and drinks in hospital

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1 Your food and drinks in hospital Information for patients, relatives and carers Mealtimes on this ward are: (To be completed by ward staff) Breakfast Ward Lunch Evening Meal Page 1 of 12

2 Contents Page Why are food and drinks important? 3 What is on the menu? 4 How do I order my food? 4 What do the codes on the menu mean? 5 Can I order snacks? 6 Can I order a different portion size? 6 What if I need a special diet or have a food allergy? 6 What if I miss a meal because I am not in the ward? 7 What if I need special equipment to help with eating and drinking? 7 What if I have a visual impairment? 7 Can I bring my own food and drink into hospital? 8 How much should I drink every day? 9 What else can I drink? 9 How do I ensure I am getting enough to drink? 10 What are protected mealtimes? 10 Why are protected mealtimes important? 10 How can your visitors help? 11 What does staff do to prepare the ward? 11 Coloured tray system 11 Can I give feedback to staff? 12 Page 2 of 12

3 Why are food and drinks important? Tasty and nutritious food and drinks are a vital part of getting better when you are in hospital. NHS Tayside has a policy on Food, Fluid and Nutritional Care. This means that we will do our best to make sure you get the highest quality of food and drink at each meal and snack. We also aim to provide you with the best standard of nutritional care. This leaflet gives you information about what we do to provide suitable food and drinks. It tells you what you should expect when you come into hospital. It tells you how you can make sure you receive the right diet and enjoy the food and drinks served to you. It also tells you how you can discuss any concerns you have about the food and drinks offered, or your experiences during mealtimes. When you come into hospital we will: Assess you to find out your dietary and nutritional needs and record your height and weight. Offer you a therapeutic diet and access to a dietitian and/or speech and language therapist if you need it. Provide you with help to eat and drink if you need it. Make sure you have access to fresh drinking water. Ensure you are aware of who you can discuss your experiences of eating and drinking with. Our dietitians and caterers will also: Develop and test all our recipes. Make sure meals are produced to the highest standard. Plan and review menus using your feedback. Page 3 of 12

4 What is on the menu? Breakfast: Breakfast consists of a choice of porridge or cereal, bread or roll, butter or spread, jam or marmalade, fruit juice and fruit. Toast is available on some wards only. Lunch/Evening meal: At lunch and evening meals you can choose three courses from a selection of hot and cold dishes. There is also a lighter meal option if you would prefer. How do I order my food? On some wards you are given a menu card to fill in for the following day and your meal is delivered on an individual tray. If you need help to fill in the card please ask a nurse, healthcare assistant or your visitor. On other wards, food is delivered in a trolley and served on the ward so you are able to choose your meal when it arrives. Salt and pepper and a small selection of sauces are available, so please ask the staff for what you prefer with your meals. Page 4 of 12

5 What do the codes on the menu mean? On the menu you will see a variety of codes to help patients make choices about the foods most suitable for their dietary requirements. The following codes are used: HE Healthier eating: This means that the dish is suitable for healthy eating as the amount of calories, fat, sugar and salt are all controlled to be within the targets set by the Scottish Government. These dishes are suitable for those trying to lose weight, patients who are generally well and diabetics, as the amount of sugar added is limited. HC Higher calorie: This means that the dish contains more calories than a healthier eating dish and again meets the targets set out by the Scottish Government for calorie, fat, sugar and salt. These dishes are suitable for those who have a poor appetite, have lost weight unintentionally or those who are thin and have been advised to maintain or increase their weight. V Vegetarian: This means the dish is suitable for vegetarians. FF Finger Foods: This means that the food is suitable for holding in your hands to eat. These foods can be particularly helpful to dementia patients who are unable to eat at a table and eat best while walking round the ward. Page 5 of 12

6 Can I order snacks? You can order a snack such as a biscuit, cake or piece of fruit for mid-afternoon and/or mid-evening. Snacks are ordered from the menu card or served by ward staff along with your choice of a hot or cold drink. Can I order a different portion size? You may select a small or standard size portion on the menu card or you can ask at the point of service. What if I need a special diet or have a food allergy? If you have a diagnosed food allergy (for example, peanuts) or if you require a therapeutic diet to treat a medical condition such as Coeliac Disease, please let your nurse know and we will make sure it is provided. As of January 2015 NHS Tayside has been implementing a no gluten containing ingredients menu. This means that dishes are made with products which do not contain gluten and we have procedures in the kitchen to ensure no cross contamination between gluten containing and non gluten containing ingredients. As of December 2014 the European Union Food Information for Consumers Regulation came into force. This means hospitals must be able to advise you if the food provided has any of the 14 allergens. When you come into hospital you will be asked if you have any allergens to food and the Catering Department will provide food suitable for your allergy. If you require information regarding the allergen content of meals then please ask the nurse who will contact the Catering Department. If you have a medical condition that requires a special diet, for example kidney disease/diabetes, the dietary information within this leaflet may not be appropriate to you. If you have any concerns or queries regarding this please contact nursing staff or ward dietitian. If you have a swallowing difficulty and your diet needs to be a certain texture we may ask a speech and language therapist to come and see you. This may be at mealtimes. At each mealtime we provide a vegetarian choice and we also have a Halal menu. Please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff for either of these. If you require any other special diet for cultural or religious reasons such as Kosher, we will do our best to provide it. Please just let the staff know. Page 6 of 12

7 What if I miss a meal because I am not in the ward? If you are away from the ward because of a test or treatment, for example physiotherapy and you miss a meal, depending on the time of day you will be offered a hot meal or a cold snack on return. Where possible, we will do our best to make sure you are on the ward during mealtimes. If we don t offer you a meal, please let us know and we will sort this out for you. What if I need special equipment to help with eating and drinking? If you use special cups, plates or adapted knives and forks at home it is helpful to bring these with you to hospital. We know that these are sometimes difficult to find and buy so with your permission, we will label these with your name to make sure they are not lost. If you do not have this equipment already or if you find you need it whilst in hospital then we can provide it for you. What if I have a visual impairment? If you have a visual impairment then we may be able to provide the menu to you in a different format in order that you see or read it better. On speaking to patients with visual impairment they have suggested we use black lines between the sections of the menus so that patients can see the 3 meal occasions more clearly. If you require this or the menu in another way to help you choose meals then please let the nursing staff know and they will speak with the Catering Department. Page 7 of 12

8 Can I bring my own food and drink into hospital? To ensure we avoid bringing infections into hospital caused by food we ask that people avoid bringing in certain foods. Provided your diet allows, the following items may be brought into hospital: Pre-wrapped biscuits Fresh fruit and dried fruit Bottled or canned drinks (non-alcoholic) Individual cartons of fresh fruit juice Sweets and chocolates Crisps, nuts and crackers Cereal bars Individual pre-packed cakes, for example muffins (no cream) We are not allowed to reheat or store foods in the fridge for you. Please let nursing staff know of any food or drinks brought in to you. If you or your relatives bring in food then it must be eaten straight away, and away from patient bed areas. If you have swallowing difficulties, some textures may not be appropriate for you please check with staff before you bring food or drink in. All other foods should be stored in your bedside locker. The following must not be brought into hospital by you or your visitors as they can be a serious health risk to you and others: Cooked meats and meat products Fish paste and fish products Fresh or synthetic cream or cream products Uncooked eggs Take-away meals Yoghurts/dairy products (unless UHT) Food containing nuts, especially peanuts Page 8 of 12

9 How much should I drink every day? Fluid is needed for good health and for your body to work properly. Too little fluid makes you dehydrated which can drain your energy and make you tired. You need to drink around 1.2 litres of fluid every day which is the same as 6 to 8 glasses of water. Some patients may have a hydration card in use. This is to monitor how much fluid has been taken only. The nurse will mark this off or will show you or your relative to do this (if able). If you have swallowing difficulties, you may need to have your drinks thickened. The staff will do this for you. What else can I drink? Beverages and soft drinks are mostly water, so milk, fruit juice, coffee and tea can all contribute to your daily fluid intake. Please note that drinks with a lot of sugar can actually dehydrate you or make you want to go to the toilet more often so plain water or squash is best. Hot and cold drinks are available during the day. You should always have a jug of fresh cold water by your bedside or access to a water fountain. Please ask if you need help or a refill. Page 9 of 12

10 How do I ensure I am getting enough to drink? Drink a glass of water when you waken. Drink a glass of water with your meal. Keep a check on the number of glasses of water or cups of tea/coffee you have each day. Check your urine. If it is pale and clear then you are drinking a good amount. If it is dark yellow and cloudy you may not be drinking enough. Ask the nurse looking after you for advice if you are unsure. What are Protected Mealtimes? At mealtimes, as far as possible, non-essential activities on the ward stop so meals can be served. Nurses, ward assistants and volunteers also give assistance to anyone who may need help with eating and drinking. Why are Protected Mealtimes important? Protected mealtimes allow ward staff to dedicate their time to the meal service and give their full attention to you and other patients without unnecessary interruptions. This gives you the chance to enjoy your food without unplanned visits from hospital staff, drug rounds or routine tests. However, if you have been referred to a speech and language therapist for assessment of your swallowing, they may need to carry out assessments during your mealtimes. It is helpful to ask relatives and carers to avoid telephoning the ward during a mealtime. Page 10 of 12

11 How can your visitors help? We encourage person-centred care and know that all patients value and benefit from spending time and getting support from their family and friends while they are in hospital. Some people can become embarrassed if they need assistance or have difficulty with eating and drinking. We therefore politely ask that where possible you ask your visitors to avoid being in the ward during mealtimes to give others some privacy. We do however encourage you to ask relatives who may help you at home with eating and drinking to stay and offer you that personal support whilst you are in hospital. What does staff do to prepare the ward? In some wards you may need to eat at your bedside but in others you may be able to have your meal at a table with other patients. Before the meal service, you should expect to see the following happen: Cleaning and preparing bed tables and eating areas. Providing drinks and/or refilling water jugs. Offering you access to toilet facilities. Offering you the opportunity to wash your hands or providing you with hand wipes. Making sure assistance is available if you need help with eating and drinking. Coloured Tray System Some patients may have their meal served on a peach tray in some hospitals. This is to alert nursing staff that some patients on the ward may need some assistance with their meals. Nursing staff will assess if you need this on admission. Page 11 of 12

12 Can I give feedback to staff? If you would like to comment on any dishes on the menu, there is space on the menu card to allow you to do this so that the catering staff can get feedback to be sure that all the food they make is of a high standard. Nursing staff may ask you to fill in a questionnaire or if you wish to tell us more about your food and drink you can ask a member of staff for one. Patients, carers, families and the public can provide online feedback on any NHS Tayside service by the following method: NHS Tayside Engagement website: You can read and download the Food, Fluid and Nutritional Care Policy from our website: NHS Tayside Corporate website: If you have any further questions or comments, or require any further information, they will be happy to help or you can ask the nurse looking after you. This leaflet can be made available in other languages and formats on request. Speak to the nurse looking after you to arrange this. Produced by Tayside Nutrition Managed Clinical Network (MCN), Kings Cross, Clepington Road, Dundee, DD3 8EA, in partnership with staff, patients and public partners Revised: 07/2015 Review: 07/2017 LN1110 Page 12 of 12

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