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Patients help design 'memory menus' at Notts hospital

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People in Nottinghamshire are being asked what food from their childhood they would like to see served from new “memory menus” being introduced at a local hospital.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust wants to provide meals that evoke nostalgic memories or that are well-known to the region in a bid to encourage patients, including those with dementia, to eat properly while they receive care.

Those behind the scheme said patients sometimes lost their appetites in hospital and that ensuring they ate meals helped their recovery.

“We hope that having some traditional favourites on the menu will help encourage our older patients to eat”

Ann-Marie Riley

“We are trying to make sure we have as many tempting options on our menus as possible,” said Nottingham University Hospitals deputy chief nurse Ann-Marie Riley.

“Making sure patients are well nourished is an important part of their recovery. It also helps them avoid losing any of their mobility and independence which is important in helping them go home sooner.

“We also hope that having some traditional favourites on the menu will help encourage our older patients to eat, especially those with conditions like dementia,” she said.

She said the initiative was part of the “#endPJparalysis” campaign running at the trust, which aims to encourage patients to get dressed and mobile as soon as they are well enough.

Chris Neale, head of catering at the trust where he oversees 1,800 meals a day, said: “It is important that we speak with our service users to make sure we are offering meals that they want to eat, as well as being nutritionally balanced and playing a part in a speedier recovery.”

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