When patients come into hospital, they are nutritionally screened within 24 hours of admission by nursing staff using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (‘MUST’). Patients who are at high risk of malnutrition are referred to the Dietitian.
Based on each patients ‘MUST’ score, an individualised care plan is made, incorporating likes and dislikes, assisting patients to choose the right meals for their condition and appetite and encouraging nourishing foods and drinks.
When a referral is received a Dietitian will undertake a nutritional assessment and may make a number of recommendations to improve a patient’s nutritional intake and in some circumstances prescribe nutritional supplements.
In addition to those patients who are at high risk of malnutrition, a patient would be referred to the Dietitian for other medical or surgical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease and cystic fibrosis.
Some patients who are unable to swallow safely and therefore unable to eat and drink will require tube feeding. The Dietitian will provide a tailored regime to ensure their nutritional needs are met.
Dietitians work with a range of healthcare professionals on the wards as part of the multidisciplinary team to provide dietary advice and nutritional education.
The Dietitians work closely with Serco who provide the catering service at the hospital. The Dietitians are involved with the production of the menu, ensuring it meets patient’s nutritional needs and support the catering department with any dietary queries.
The hospital menu caters for a variety of tastes, cultures and therapeutic diets. Copies of the menu can be found on the wards to help patients make a choice at point of service when the trolley arrives.
We have menus for patients needing the following diets: gluten free, wheat free, milk free, low residue (restricted fibre), low potassium and puree. We also cater for patients wanting Vegetarian, Vegan, Halal or Kosher meals.
If the menu cannot cater for specific dietary requirements, these should be highlighted to the ward nurses or catering staff.