nieuws

Medical staff must help hospital caterers

Horeca

Doctors and nurses need to communicate more with hospital caterers if patients are to be fed properly, a leading clinician said today. Simon Allison, professor in clinical nutrition at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, speaking at the Hospital Caterers Association conference in Birmingham today, said nutrition was vital in increasing the survival rates of patients and accelerating their discharge.

He said that hospital food had improved greatly and that caterers were doing their part in serving good-quality food, but it meant nothing if the food was not being eaten by patients.

Allison said there were a number of reasons patients would not eat food: including the type of medication they were on, the illness they were suffering from, and how they were positioned in bed.

He said doctors and nurses had to get involved and tell caterers about patients’ specific needs.

“It’s up to doctors and nurses to find out patients’ food needs and then to tell the caterers about how they might cater for them. Our failure to do this has added to a lot of the problems,” said Allison.

“Unless we work together then it is not going to work at all. Doctors and nurses need better training in this field.”

He added that medical staff should also make sure that patients had the appropriate tools to eat their meals and that it was served in an accessible manner.

He said that hospital food had improved greatly and that caterers were doing their part in serving good-quality food, but it meant nothing if the food was not being eaten by patients.

Allison said there were a number of reasons patients would not eat food: including the type of medication they were on, the illness they were suffering from, and how they were positioned in bed.

He said doctors and nurses had to get involved and tell caterers about patients’ specific needs.

“It’s up to doctors and nurses to find out patients’ food needs and then to tell the caterers about how they might cater for them. Our failure to do this has added to a lot of the problems,” said Allison.

“Unless we work together then it is not going to work at all. Doctors and nurses need better training in this field.”

He added that medical staff should also make sure that patients had the appropriate tools to eat their meals and that it was served in an accessible manner.

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