- Article: Sneddon J (2011) Using mealtime volunteers to support patients. Nursing Times; 107: 41,early online publication.
- Author: Joanne Sneddon is deputy sister/nutrition nurse, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester.
- Over three million people in the UK are affected by malnutrition and the healthcare costs associated with that exceed £13bn annually
- In the past 10 years, the proportion of patients being discharged from English hospitals while malnourished has risen by 85%
- Malnutrition has clinical implications, such as delayed healing, development of pressure ulcers and prolonged hospital lengths of stay
- Nurse awareness of nutritional screening, as well as using protected mealtimes, can help to maintain the nutritional care of patients
- Mealtime volunteers can support patients by carrying out simple tasks such as completing menus, opening packaging and encouraging them to eat
Using volunteers for feeding
- Should volunteers feed patients?
- Are there safety issues and if so, how can these be addressed?
- What other nursing tasks could volunteers undertake on wards?
Follow the debate on Twitter #NTjournalclub