Nursing home staff are putting their learning into practice after completing a care nutrition training programme.
The Sundridge Court staff recently completed the Making Mealtimes Matter project led by Bromley Community team dietetic department and speech and language team (SALT), which was funded and supported by the local Clinical Commissioning Group.
Carol Marsh, Sundridge Court home manager, said: “Nutrition and hydration is so important and the programme has been fantastic. It’s really made a difference in educating everyone about a range of topics on all stages of eating and drinking, for example helping people into the best position for swallowing.
“Chefs, kitchen assistants, nurses, carers and activities team members all attended and are now aware and involved in making mealtimes matter more. We have implemented what we learnt into our daily practices here.
“It’s reinforced to everyone how important to the day mealtimes are. We put on music in the background in the dining room and give people time to enjoy their meal. Many of our residents are quite poorly and need their food mashed or pureed so presentation and colour of food, as well as texture, is also carefully considered.”
The training programme aims to improve knowledge and practices in Bromley care homes in providing nutrition to residents, educate staff on swallowing issues, the use of tools in monitoring dehydration and malnutrition risks, special diets, fortification of meals, correct usage of supplements and thickened fluids.
As a result of the training, Sundridge Court has developed a close relationship with Bromley SALT and dieticians, as well as the local dentist and visiting medical professionals. The team are also delighted that some residents who had previously needed help at mealtimes are starting to feed themselves again, and take pleasure in eating once more.