Hospital snack trolley wins national award
11 July 2013
Staff and volunteers at Southend University Hospital are celebrating after an innovative scheme to boost the recovery of frail, elderly patients won a major national award.
The hospital's snack round service, which offers chocolate,
scones with jam and other calorie-laden treats to tempt those with
poor appetites, took the 'patient safety in care of older people'
award at London's glitzy Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane. The
highly-contested Patient Safety 2013 awards were organised by
theNursing TimesandHealth Service Journal.
There to receive the award were clinical development nurse
Claire Buckell, who has worked tirelessly on the snack rounds
initiative, Lisa Thompson, manager of Stambridge ward which helped
trial the scheme, oncology dietitian Henry Wood and Macmillan
dietetic assistant Ross Little.
Nursing Timeseditor, Jenni Middleton, told the winners: "You
have accomplished something truly special: your efforts have given
your patients and their families and friends a better experience, a
safer experience, a more integrated experience of healthcare."
The snack round scheme was launched by the hospital's volunteer
Feeding Buddies, dietitians, ward and catering staff to boost the
nutrition of elderly patients and so improve their recovery. Many
patients tend to eat and drink less when they are ill and this can
affect their ability to fight infection, delay wound healing,
reduce muscle strength and induce fatigue, apathy and confusion.
Elderly patients are also more at risk of falling if their bodies
are not receiving sufficient sustenance.
An audit had found that some patients were eating less than 650
calories a day while they were in hospital - way below the
recommended 1200 for elderly patients.
However, following the introduction of snack rounds their intake
was boosted with some patients even doubling their intake.
The service, which includes a traditional tea trolley and
cake-stand, is operated by the hospital's specially-trained Feeding
Buddies, distinctive in their red tabards, and ward staff. They
tempt patients with scones, chocolate bars, bananas, custard,
yogurts and other appealing treats.
Claire said: "Often patients don't have much of an appetite when
they are ill. The tempting snack rounds scheme has been so
worthwhile and is very popular with our older patients and their
carers. It is a complete thrill for us all to have won this
A delighted hospital chief executive, Jacqueline Totterdell,
said: "We knew from the start that the snack rounds scheme was a
winner in all ways and are delighted with the team's well-earned
success. They have all put in many additional hours to audit food
intake, devise how to improve patient nutrition, recruit and train
the volunteers, get the trolley scheme up and running and roll it
out to relevant wards.
"We are so proud of them - and we know that our patients really
appreciate the snack rounds which have become a highlight of their
Southend's sexual health service was also represented at the
presentation ceremony, as its failsafe method of ensuring
HIV-positive women receive regular cancer checks made the
short-list in two categories.
Ms Totterdell said: "Just winning through to the finals is a
great accolade as this year the awards received the highest number
of entries ever.
"Patient safety is paramount and we are delighted that their
work has been recognised nationally."