Tea parties

Nutrition & Hydration Week, this year running 16–22 March, is starting to gain real traction among healthcare and social care caterers.

It aims to engage clinical and catering staff in “reinforcing and focusing energy, activity and engagement on nutrition and hydration as part of patient safety improvement”.

Now in its fourth year, the week includes workshops, awareness training and staff education alongside food tasting sessions and themed parties. All are widely promoted through social media.

And the event has taken on an international flavour with the Worldwide Afternoon Tea taking place on 18 March. This follows the success of last year’s inaugural tea party event, which included participation from Australia, Canada and India.

Among the many who have already pledged involvement this year – in the UK and abroad – there is already one stand-out story.

Lunchboxgift, the catering service provider for the Ebola Centres in Sierra Leone, has announced its support by signing up to provide freshly cooked meals and clean drinking water for patients and staff during the week.

The chairman of the Hospital Caterers Association, Andy Jones, says: “The challenges this healthcare caterer must overcome every day just to provide a hot meal is huge, and its participation in the week is humbling.”

It is just one example of many of the way that Nutrition & Hydration Week plays an increasingly important role in highlighting the dangers facing vulnerable people who are not given enough to eat and drink. You can read more about preparations for the week on page 16.

Also in this issue, we carry the report of the discussion among the Public Sector ‘Most Influential’ people in catering, who focused their attention on malnutrition issues when they met at the House of Commons just before Christmas.

Turn to page 18 to find out how the catering industry’s chief influencers and opinion-formers leant their support to the debate on the best ways to protect the health and welfare of the elderly and vulnerable.

Tea parties

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