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May 3, 2023

Food packs launched to support vulnerable patients as they return home

Nutritional food packs are being launched at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust to support vulnerable patients who are being discharged from hospital.

Each bag provides two days’ worth of long shelf-life meals, which includes nutritional information for older people who are at risk of, or suffering from, malnutrition and dehydration.

The ‘Hearty Meal Bags’ contains breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks to ensure patients have the nutrients and supplies for when they return home to support a healthy recovery.

Martina Kingscott, Assistant Director of Nursing for Quality at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said:

We are always looking for ways to enhance the care our patients receive both during their hospital stay, and as they return home to continue their recovery.

“Patient wellbeing is at the heart of what we do and this partnership is a great step forward in supporting some of our more vulnerable patients.

“By providing them with the essentials they need we can improve their recovery from illness and reduce the likelihood of needing to return to hospital in the future.

The project is a partnership between Age UK Bolton and Urban Outreach, working with Bolton NHS Foundation Trust as part of Bolton’s Nutrition and Hydration Programme.

Age UK Bolton’s ‘Home from Hospital’ team will offer meal bags to people Royal Bolton Hospital identify as being at risk of malnutrition at the time of discharge.

More than 2,000 people every year are supported by the team with post-discharge aftercare or practical and emotional support to avoid unnecessary hospital admission.

Siobhan McKenna, Greater Manchester Nutrition and Hydration Programme Manager at Age UK Bolton, said:

Access to food can be difficult for an older person after a hospital stay. It might be that they are discharged from hospital without full food support at home.

“That’s where Hearty Meals Bags come in, offering interim support with enough nourishing food and drink for two days. Everything is packed into one handy bag for them to take home when they are ready to be discharged.

Siobhan highlights the impact of malnutrition and how adequate nutrition can improve recovery from illness:

Malnutrition can impact almost every system on the body and if untreated can lead to a variety of issues such as fatigue, falls and reduced immunity.

“We’re proud to be working with Bolton NHS Foundation Trust to prevent this and focus on improving mobility, health and wellbeing and the quality of life for people across Bolton.

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