Patients offered more choice of healthy snacks on wards
We are increasing the amount of healthy snacks on our mental health inpatient wards as part of ongoing work to also support patients with their physical health.
It is in response to feedback from our patients and ongoing work by our dietitians, occupational therapists and physiotherapists to support patients with their nutrition and wellbeing.
Our dietitians and Facilities Team have been reviewing ward catering and provide more healthy options. They recently worked with Brakes catering company to organise tasting sessions on our adult mental health wards.
Facilities manager Julie Allum said: “The feedback we had from our patients and staff was really positive so I am glad we were able to offer this opportunity.
“The events were well attended and the feedback very positive. The Facilities Team are now going through the feedback received and deciding which snacks will be offered on the wards as a result.
“We would like to thank the team, our dietitians and Brakes for supporting this event and hope that it benefits our patients to make healthy, tasty choices.”
It is part of Closing the Gap, a project that began with a pilot study in 2018 when senior dieticians researched ways of preventing diabetes in some psychosis patients who had gained weight as a side effect of taking their medication.
The results showed that supporting patients with their nutrition and well-being led to a substantial improvement in their physical health.
Dr Charu Kartik, one of our senior dietitians, has recently had a research paper on their findings published in the British Dietetic Association’s Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
Working with patients to develop individual, high quality, holistic care plans and improving provision of physical healthcare for people with serious mental illness are among our commitments in our five-year Strategic Plan.
She said: “It was such an honour to be able to share our research with the BDA and I was very pleased that they decided to publish it.
“One of the side effects of taking antipsychotic medications is that it can increase people’s appetites and therefore contribute to physical health problems such as weight gain and diabetes.
“Through Closing the Gap, we have helped support people with lifestyle education and adaptations so they can also keep physically well.”
Working with patients to develop individual, high quality, holistic care plans and improving provision of physical healthcare for people with serious mental illness are among our commitments in our new five-year Strategic Plan.