Three dedicated nutritional assistants are supporting hip fracture patients on Ward One at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Hospital in Cramlington by helping them with wider options for meals and extra snack choices to aid recovery.
The nutrition assistants are working closely with the catering team at the hospital to introduce smaller-portion, higher-calorie meals including fortified soups and a wide range of high-calorie snacks.
They’re also working with Apetito foods to provide a range of full meals delivered in bitesize portions to help patients who need extra encouragement and support to eat independently.
The assistants are developing easy-read picture cards with calorie information to help give patients greater understanding and choice which is tailored to their personal tastes and mirrors what they like to eat at home.
Hip fracture patients need enough calories, energy and protein to rebuild their muscles and tissues and are required to have at least three meals per day as well as 500 extra calories in snacks.
Continual good nutrition and hydration also helps to reduce confusion and delirium which can reduce the risk of falling.
Ann Bradford, nutritional assistant at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Hip fractures are one of the most common and serious injuries in older people.
"As many of our hip fracture patients are elderly they already fall in to a high-risk category.
“It is vital that we make sure these patients get enough calories and protein to build up their energy so that they can become stronger again.”