Healthy eating is the theme of this week at Blackpool Victoria, as staff spend time educating themselves and patients on the importance of good nutrition.
From before you’re born to your last days, what you eat is of vital importance.
That’s the message from The Vic being highlighted this week – National Nutrition and Hydration Week.
Even the board of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are getting involved, and will serve nutritious meals and snacks to patients throughout the event.
For practice development midwife Carol Tiffin, nutrition is extremely important for expectant mothers.
“For pregnant women there’s this common misconception you’re eating for two,” she said. “But actually they should only be eating an extra 300 calories a day. We’re trying to tell people that instead of ‘you are what you eat’ expectant mums should be thinking ‘I am what you eat’ when it comes to their babies.
“What women are putting into their bodies is what goes into their babies.”
Pregnant women are also advised to monitor caffeine intake and will be given advice on breast feeding.
Carol added: “Blackpool does have possibly the worst breast feeding uptake rates, but it’s the best way to give babies the right nutrients and hydration.”
All around The Vic, a lot of work is going into making sure all patients are given the right diet while they are in hospital and the right nutrients to aid their recovery.
Emma Shepherd, head of speech and language therapy and dietetics, said: “25 per cent of people coming through our doors are malnourished, which causes poor recovery from illness, muscle weakness and an increased hospital stay.
“We screen all our patients as they come in and a care plan is put in place to make sure they are given meals that suit their needs.”
Clinical Improvement manager Cherith Haythornthwaite said work was being done across the trust to promote nutrition.
She said: “We work hard to make sure patient meal times and diets are adhered to during their hospital stay with a real focus on the individual.
“I am sure the patients are surprised at the amount of work that goes in to keeping their nourished and healthy, and how we constantly monitor the patients’ needs.”