It is key for hospitals to provide appropriate food, fluid and nutritional care to manage any nutritional risk, to improve nutritional health and well-being and optimise the wider clinical management of all patients.
NHS Borders Catering Department produces on average, 6811 patient meals a week; and to ensure each one of these meals is tasty, good value and nutritionally balanced, great care is taken when planning the hospital menus.
NHS Borders Medical Director, Andrew Murray feels passionate about learning first hand from patient experiences and thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to serve up some sample dishes from the Borders General Hospital patient food menus to his fellow Board Directors, for some true feedback.
When introducing the trays of food to his colleagues, Andrew said: “Understanding a patient’s experience plays a vital role when looking at improving the quality and safe patient care we provide.”
John Raine, NHS Borders Chairman encouraged the tasting session by adding: “Every day my Board and I make decisions that impact on our patients’ experience in some way; that is why a simple exercise of serving up patient food between board meetings will remind us that providing safe patient care is our number one priority.
The Board rated the food an impressive four out of five.
Caroline Herkes, NHS Borders Catering Manager said: “We are very pleased to receive feedback from the Board. It’s important to us to keep the menus relevant and ensure patients receive a choice. We aim to cater for all types of diet and will work directly with wards when specific requirements are identified.
Standards for food, fluid and nutritional care
Food, fluid and nutrition are fundamental to health and wellbeing, and therefore fundamental to quality and safety in healthcare.
These standards replace the previous 'Clinical Standards for Food, Fluid and Nutritional Care in hospitals' published by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland in 2003.
This document specifies a minimum set of performance criteria for food, fluid and nutritional care. The standards apply to the care of all patients, paediatric and adult, in both community health care and hospital care in Scotland, whether directly provided by an NHS board or secured on behalf of an NHS board.
These standards can be used to reinforce national consistency and drive improvement in food, fluid and nutritional care across Scotland.
Food, fluid and nutritional care standards can be found at www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org/our_work/patient_safety/improving_nutritional_care/nutritional_care_standards.aspx