Campaign launched to promote importance of mealtimes at Naas General Hospital

Nutrition

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

Campain launched to promote importance of mealtimes at Naas General Hospital

Emily Burke, Stacey Collins, Brian Kearney, Alice Kinsella, Gillian O’Loughlin, Theresa Fitzsimons and Sheila Rothwell

A campaign has been launched to promote the importance of mealtimes for patients at Naas Hospital.

It follows the launch of a food, nutrition and hydration policy for adult hospital patients by the Minister for Health Simon Harris.

Naas Hospital’s ‘Mealtimes Matter’ campaign promotes the operation of protected mealtime services in the hospital.

It includes a public and staff awareness campaign, including the installation of messaging on lift doors to reinforce the message that during mealtimes all non-urgent activities will stop.

This is being done so that hospital staff are available to assist patients with their meals

A visitor is welcome to stay during mealtimes to help a relative or friend with their meal, if assistance is required.

Gillian O’Loughlin, dietitian manager at the hospital said: “Providing patients with good nutrition and hydration care is a fundamental requirement for good care.

“It underpins the care and treatment of all patients, no matter what their specific clinical problem. Delivering high standards on nutrition and hydration is a priority for our hospital.”

Alice Kinsella, general manager at the facility said: “Introducing Mealtime Matters comes in line with the national HSE policy.

“ With this new quality initiative we aim to promote and maintain an environment where patients can enjoy their meals and have appropriate assistance to safely consume their food and drinks.”

The protected mealtimes services operate for breakfast (8.15am to 8.45am), lunch (12.30pm to 1pm) and tea (5pm to 5.30pm).

It aims to provide an environment conducive to patients enjoying and being able to eat their food. Protected mealtimes are set times in which the patient is encouraged to eat without any interruptions including routine observations, routine therapy or administration of medications, non-emergency tests and visits from carers or family members, who are not assisting the patients who is eating.