East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust has introduced “red mats” to alert all staff to patient nutritional needs around-the-clock.
The red mats are intended to enhance the red tray principle, which was started by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital and is now a nationally adopted innovation.
Red trays indicate patients who need assistance at mealtimes. However, red trays are only available three times a day.
The red mats will remain on the patient’s table 24/7, so all ward staff and visiting staff can see at a glance who needs help with food and drink, or monitoring, regardless of the time of day.
The red mats are non-slip, easy to clean and infection-control compliant. They will also provide a stimulus for dementia patients.
The mats began being rolled out across the FT’s wards on 12 November.