BROMSGROVE's community hospital has held a tea part as part of a health awareness initiative.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust runs the town's Princess of Wales Hospital as well as other community hospitals in the county.

On Wednesday, March 19, the Stourbridge Road-based hospital, along with other hospitals run by the trust, participated in a Worldwide Afternoon Tea event in a bid to raise awareness of nutrition and hydration.

Patients and their relatives were invited to attend the parties, where the catering team at each hospital prepared a traditional afternoon tea for them.

As malnutrition doubles the risk of mortality in hospital, and with 28 per cent of patients admitted to hospitals said to be at risk, hospital services are keen to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition and hydration.

During Nutrition and Hydration week, everyone in nutritional care in health and social care settings was challenged to use it as a platform to raise awareness by demonstrating and sharing best practise, and illustrating how by making changes to eating and drinking habits can improve quality of life.

The emotional and social positives from the eating experience were also promoted, with Princess of Wales staff using the tea parties to show that if patients are able to eat with others, this provides social interaction and makes it a more enjoyable process.

Sewellyn Douglas-James, a facilities manager at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, 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.”

Andy Jones, chairman of the Hospital Caterers Association, added: “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."