Specialist food put to the taste test at hospital

General Health tile
General Health tile

A delicious selection of specialist food has been taste tested as part of a quality benchmarking exercise at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The routine exercise has been carried out recently to ensure those patients with dysphagia - swallowing difficulties - are receiving a tasty, appetising meals that are nourishing and of a texture that they can manage safely.

The meals offer a selection of puree foods which have been molded to look like their original shape, as well as foods that are softer and easier to swallow.

On test were a selection of main meals, desserts and snacks from a number of providers which were sampled by catering staff, speech and language therapists, as well Paul Grinnell, lead governor for the Trust.

Trust clinical specialist speech and language therapist or dysphagia Lucy Southwell said: “We work with patients who have swallowing difficulties as a result of conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

“People with dysphagia have problems with swallowing certain foods or liquids, while others cannot swallow at all. People with swallowing problems can be at risk of choking on foods if they are not of a suitable consistency. Food or fluid going down the wrong way may lead to pneumonia.

Trust clinical specialist speech and language therapist for dysphagia Jennifer Benson said: “Over time, people with swallowing problems are at risk of losing weight. Because eating is more difficult, people are likely to eat less and find eating tiring. It is important that we offer meals that are visually appetising, taste good and provide optimal nourishment.”

Trust deputy director of facilities Kirsty Edmondson-Jones said: “We routinely carry out quality benchmarking exercises to ensure the food we serve to our patients is of the highest quality.

“Ensuring patients with swallowing problems have appropriate textured modified food is essential, our aim is to serve an appetising plate of food, be that pre-molded pureed food or softer options.

“Patients with swallowing problems still want to have food that has a depth of flavour and taste that is recognisable to what they are eating.”

All of the meals being tested are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals to ensure the patient receives a balanced diet.