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Naas General Hospital launch Mealtimes Matter campaign to support protected mealtimes for patients


Following on from the launch of the HSE Food, Nutrition and Hydration Policy for Adult Patients in Acute Hospitals today by the Minister for Health Simon Harris T.D., Naas General Hospital has launched a ‘Mealtimes Matter’ campaign to promote the operation of protected mealtime services in the Hospital. The Quality Initiative includes a public and staff awareness campaign, including the installation of messaging on lift doors to reinforce the following messaging:

  • During mealtimes all non-urgent activities will stop so that hospital staff are available to assist patients with their meals
  • A visitor is welcome to stay during mealtimes to help a relative or friend with their meal, if assistance is required

Gillian O'Loughlin, Dietitian Manager, Naas General Hospital stated: “Providing patients with good nutrition and hydration care is a fundamental requirement for good care. It underpins the care and treatment of all patients, no matter what their specific clinical problem."

Delivering high standards on nutrition and hydration is a priority for our hospital.

Alice Kinsella, General Manager at Naas General Hospital stated: “Introducing Mealtime Matters for Naas General Hospital comes in line with the national HSE Food, Nutrition and Hydration Policy. With this new quality initiative we aim to promote and maintain an environment where patients can enjoy their meals and have appropriate assistance to safely consume their food and drinks.”

Protected mealtimes services operate during:

  • Breakfast: 8.15am to 8.45am
  • Lunch: 12.30pm to 1.00pm
  • Tea: 5.00pm to 5.30pm

‘Protected Mealtimes’ provide an environment conducive to patients enjoying and being able to eat their food. Protected meal times are set times in which the patient is encouraged to eat without any interruptions including and not limited by routine observations, routine therapy or administration of medications, non-emergency tests and visits from carers or family members, who are not assisting the patients who is eating.

Photo caption: Members of the Nutrition and Hydration Steering Committee in Naas General Hospital launching the ‘Mealtimes Matter’ campaign to promote the operation of protected mealtime services in the Hospital. From left to right: Emily Burke, Stacey Collins, Brian Kearney, Alice Kinsella, Gillian O’Loughlin, Theresa Fitzsimons and Sheila Rothwell cutting the ribbon on lift doors with new messaging to reinforce protected mealtimes to public and staff.