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Wirral hospital patients' food for thought on nutrition
9:39am Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
PATIENTS and visitors to Arrowe Park Hospital were given the chance to talk to leading experts in nutrition at a recent event to mark World Food Day.
A variety of food from the catering team plus specialised nutritional supplement drinks were available to sample and try as part of the event.
Three million people are at risk of malnutrition in the UK, of which 3% are in hospital or other NHS settings.
Nadeem Sarwar, a consultant Gastroenterologist for Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: "The importance of hospital food and good nutrition cannot be understated.
"Poor nourishment leads to longer hospital stays, increased infection rates and overall poorer outcomes.
"We do some extremely good work here at our hospitals in keeping patients nourished during their stay with us.
"We used World Food Day to highlight to patients and visitors how we work closely with our in-house nutritional team, dietitians and catering department."
The Trust screens patients for malnutrition within 24 hours of being admitted to hospital.
This screening helps identify patients who could be underweight and therefore at greater risk of malnutrition.
Dr Sarwar added: "Around 40% of patients admitted to hospitals have malnutrition.
“Making sure patients are assessed quickly, and the correct diet is followed has a great impact on the outcome for the patient.”
In addition to longer stays in hospital and increased infection rates, malnutrition can also result in reduced muscle strength and tiredness, depression, shortness of breath and possible re-admission.
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