PATIENTS, family and staff at community hospitals in Worcestershire enjoyed a cuppa this week as part of a national initiative promoting hydration and nutrition.

Hospitals in Malvern, Evesham, Pershore and Tenbury as well as the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bromsgrove and mental health units across the county run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust held tea parties on Wednesday, March 19 to mark Nutrition and Hydration Week 2014.

Catering teams at the hospitals made afternoon tea to raise awareness of the risks of dehydration and malnutrition in healthcare.

Chairman of the Hospital Caterers Association – one of the organisations behind the project – Andy Jones said it was important staff and patients alike understood the important of nutrition.

“With under-nutrition and dehydration leading to increased hospital stays and readmission rates, our focus must be on embedding the concept of nutrition and hydration as a key part of a patient’s recovery plan,” he said. “The worldwide and support from NHS Trusts is an encouraging sign of attitudes changing and progress being made.”

Figures show about 28 per cent of patients admitted to hospital in the UK are at risk of malnutrition.

Facilities manager at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust Sewellyn Douglas Jones said: “We are really pleased that the afternoon tea parties took place in our hospitals and with how well they went.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to emphasise the importance of nutrition and hydration within care environments and how our services can support those needs.”