Food is a form of medicine

A new hospital campaign promoting the ‘Food First’ approach is set to be launched this month.

The Food, Fluid and Nutrition campaign has been developed to improve the awareness of the importance of food in helping our patients to recover quicker and leave hospital sooner.

A number of promotional materials will be displayed across all hospitals to tackle common misconceptions around certain foods. It will also highlight why it’s important we support patients to eat while ill; stress the importance of knowing what is available for patients to eat; and how staff can access suitable foods for patients who could be at risk of malnutrition.

The campaign will encourage staff to think of different ways to improve the food and fluid intake of their patients through the use of every day ward provisions. In addition, it will raise awareness among patients, carers and families of the importance of eating while in hospital and encourage them to ask for food between mealtimes.

Dr Margaret McGuire, nurse director, said: “The campaign is designed to reassure patients that they can access a range of quality food and drink whenever they are hungry.

“It’s important to make everyone aware of the great work our staff do in boosting our patients recovery through making the best use of, and easy access to, the food, snacks and drinks we can provide.

“Our staff should be proud of how conscientious they are in being so mindful of patient nutrition and this campaign has the potential to help them raise further awareness.

“Nutrition is an important aspect of patient care and, through it, our staff play a vital role in helping our patients recover quicker and leave hospital sooner.”