Protected meal times

The presentation, colour, aroma, taste and texture of food in hospitals are all important to ensure that meals are tempting even to those with the poorest appetites. The only true measure of success is how much food is eaten. We have introduced a protected mealtime service to help get the most of the food provided.

What is a protected mealtime service?

This is a period of time over lunch and supper, when all activities, on the wards will stop. The nurses, catering staff and volunteers will be available to help serve the food and give assistance to patients who may need help. This will prevent unnecessary interruptions to mealtimes.

Why is it a good idea?

Patients themselves say they would prefer to eat their meals with less distraction on the ward. Other hospitals have already introduced the service and found that patients eat better and recovered more quickly. It creates a more relaxed and calm atmosphere giving patients time to socialise and digest their food.

Who'll be on the ward then?

As well as the patients the only people on the ward will be nursing staff, catering staff, domestics and volunteers, all with the same aim, to help, encourage and monitor the patients food intake during their meal time and make it an enjoyable experience.

However all emergency treatments will still be dealt with.

What can relatives or visitors do to help?

If you normally visit at mealtimes in order to help your relative or friend to eat or just to give encouragement, we are happy for you to continue to do this. Please ask the nurse in charge how you can help out.

If you are visiting a ward please respect this and try to visit outside the registered times 

If possible please try to avoid telephoning the ward for information during these times, so the staff can concentrate on helping the patients.

If you have any worries or concerns about this, then please speak to the nurse in charge.