Over the course of our Care Home Vanguard Programme one of our focussed pieces of work was around nutrition and hydration care.
First of all we sought to understand what the needs of the residents were and what evidence and guidance there was for optimum care delivery.
We then thought about these issues in relation to our metrics of avoidable hospital admissions and the prescribing of oral nutritional supplements.
We spent time with care home teams, providing classroom training as well as work based learning opportunities and finally our Pathway of Care team developed an action plan for us to focus on.
In summary, we learned that:
Good things happen in care homes
Hydration care can be overlooked, generally being considered only as a small component of a nutritional policy
There is a lack of evidence for providing optimum hydration care for those living with dementia
Our success with the metrics is related to the multifaceted approach we have taken
by Robyn Collery, Dietitian at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
Working as a Dietitian within the pathway of care team, and the wider Vanguard in Newcastle and Gateshead has been a unique and rewarding opportunity. I have been given full ownership and trusted to produce my own Nutrition & Hydration Intervention within the Gateshead care homes. I produced a four-module education programme and piloted it in five local care homes.