Changes to mealtimes and menus for patients at NNUH
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is trialling new menus for hospital in-patients using local suppliers. The introduction of an afternoon tea and snack is being used to encourage patients to eat regularly throughout the day.
The new menus have been introduced on nine wards to see what patients think of the changes. The wards are Blakeney, Cley, Buxton, Coltishall, Brundall, Cringleford, Denton, Earsham and Gateley.
Freshly baked scones, pastries and sandwiches are being provided by Norfolk bakery Linzers for the lunch and afternoon tea. Fresh fruit is also available at all meal times.
Following discussions with patients and their representatives, lunchtime and evening meals have been switched. A lighter meal is served at lunchtime, followed by an afternoon tea and snack between 2-3pm and then more substantial evening meal at 5-7pm.
Margaret Young from Norfolk Link, which represents patients interests, says: We are pleased that the Trust is listening and responding to what patients want. Everyone is trying hard to make this work and we have been impressed with the effort put in by the Serco catering staff on the wards.
This is a positive step forward in helping patients to eat well, make a speedy recovery and return home without delay.
Director of Nursing Nick Coveney, says: The menu changes have been very positively received and it is part of a wider plan to encourage patients to eat well. Early evening is a more relaxed time in the hospital when patients can take their time to eat and family members can be involved in the meal time routine if they wish.
Nayab Haider, Contract Director for Serco which provides catering services at NNUH, says: This has been a great opportunity to review the catering service and look at how we provide a varied and appealing menu for our patients. At the same time, we have aimed to use local suppliers providing fresh, good quality food.
The public will have the opportunity to try out the new menus at the Open Day and Fete being held at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital from 11am to 4pm on Saturday 18th June. A patient catering display will be taking place in the main restaurant area at the hospital.
Other initiatives designed to help patients eat well include a team of specially trained volunteer feeders who can spend time helping patients to eat at mealtimes. Special dietary requirements are provided through an on-site chef.
Special crockery and cutlery is available for patients who have difficulty holding and gripping cutlery. Protected mealtimes reduce the amount of disruption on the ward at mealtimes and red trays help to identify those patients who need more help to eat.