Meal time companions on an acute ward for elderly people in Torbay Hospital

ContactSue Dolan, Cheetham Hill Ward, Torbay Hospital, South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
AddressTorbay District General Hospital, Lawes Bridge, Torquay, TQ2 7AA

What is being done?

Torbay Hospital has recently recruited 12 new meal time companions on Cheetham Hill Ward at to encourage a better nutritional intake for patients, including people with dementia. The meal time companions talk to and encourage those patients who may just forget to eat.

What difference this seems to be making

It is apparent through observation of lunch times that the regular staff are able to concentrate on those patients who need physical feeding whilst the meal time assistance encourage and talk to those who just need prompting or company to eat.

Plans for taking the project forward

We have just launched a luncheon club initially once a week, once are new meal time companions have become confident and established we are aiming to utilise this resource to increase number of sessions. Our Dementia Specialist Nurse will provide basic teaching sessions for the meal time companions.