Food Glorious Food

The dietetics team based at West Cumberland Hospital held a listening session last week to raise awareness amongst health professionals from various organisations about fortifying food to get the most nutritional benefit for patients.  The project is being led by Helen Frayser-Mayall, Team Leader for Nutrition & Dietetics because of her concerns about malnutrition in the county, saying that ‘there is a real need for more nutritional support for patients in Cumbria’. The Dietetics team are keen to promote a ‘Food First’ approach to help with the nutritional needs of those suffering illness and those whose personal circumstances have changed for one reason or another.   It is one of the ten second wave listening into action projects using the 'listening into action' improvement tool.

Patients and carers alike can find it extremely hard to ensure there are enough calories in food without making the portions too big to manage.  As part of the session there were some educational demonstrations and of course the ‘taste test’ 

The session showed health care professional how to boost the calorie intake using some simple ingredients like adding yoghurt and cream to drinks and shakes to help increase calories without giving the patient double the portion. The team gave out handy recipe cards and factsheets with helpful hints and tips.

The session was a great success and the feedback was really positive from all those who attended. Some professionals were familiar with techniques but said they found it useful and learned some new tricks and tips. There session was really positive and sparked some ideas about partnership working across organisations and bringing the session into care homes and other trust sites to educate more people including family members in the importance tackling malnutrition and ultimately prevention.