Concern over elderly patients not receiving help at meal times

Post date: Nov 09, 2013 6:27:50 PM

Sussex Elderly Care are concerned about elderly patients in hospital who do not get help at mealtimes especially those with dementia, arthritis or poor eyesight. Not all elderly patients are self-sufficient and may be unable to feed themselves; this is something that should be taken into account during admission and should be on a patient’s file. There is a need for hospitals to have a clearer understanding at the point of admission of a patient’s needs and appropriate time should be given to nurses and carers for them to address these needs in giving a holistic approach in the care of a patient. Ensuring that vulnerable elderly patients eat their meals should be addressed.

The Enrich Project (IC24 Integrated Care) have a number of recommendations in providing a collaborative approach to admission avoidance. The new project is working closely with nursing and residential homes to reduce unnecessary errors on admission.

We support Age UK who are encouraging a major review of hospital food with national standards issued by next summer[1].

[1] Daily Mail (8th November, 2013). 'Third of vulnerable patients get no help with hospital food'. Sophie Borland.