A community service provider in Cornwall has introduced protected mealtimes in its cottage hospitals.
Peninsula Community Health’s new protocol is intended to ensure all inpatients have uninterrupted mealtimes and receive enough assistance when eating and drinking.
Nurses in charge of the shift will be responsible for overseeing the meal service and for ensuring all staff are given either a written or verbal handover to identify patients who need assistance.
Patients will be kept undisturbed from interruptions such as ward rounds and, when possible, drugs rounds, with the exception of medicines that need to be taken with food.
Sleeping patients will be woken 20-30 minutes before food times to allow them to be sufficiently awake and all patients will be reminded and offered assistance to go to the toilet before mealtimes.
The new protocol will also allow staff to be able to monitor patient’s food and drink in-take more efficiently, the provider said.
Peninsula Community Health is a not-for-profit community interest company that provides services to adults in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Ruth Pooley, matron for Newquay Hospital, said: “Care is our main course in the provision of our food and drink in our community hospitals.”