Patients on Ward 11 of Walsall Manor Hospital are the first hospital inpatients to try Jelly Drops – a new initiative to boost hydration and nutrition among those who are struggling to eat and drink.
Senior Sister Amy Reynolds has been instrumental in introducing the pilot scheme to Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust after Ward 11 Clinical Support Worker Jayne Lynex saw them advertised. The approach is being supported by colleagues across Infection Prevention and Control, Pharmacy, Speech and Language Therapy, Dietetics and Older People’s Mental Health.
Jelly Drops were created by Lewis Hornby who was inspired to create water sweets after his late grandma Pat, who had dementia, was struggling to hydrate. These sweets are designed to boost hydration, are 95% water, sugar free and vegan with a solid but smooth texture. They also look like a tasty treat.
Amy explained: “We are always looking for innovative ways to encourage patients’ appetites and keep up their hydration which can be extremely difficult sometimes due to the nature of their health issue or because they are living with dementia.
“When I found out about Jelly Drops I couldn’t wait to see if we could introduce them in Walsall and I am so proud that we have started a six week pilot this week that is being audited and shaped by patient, family and staff feedback. Colleagues are so supportive too – mouth care is a real concern for many of our patients and this approach helps address some of those concerns. We already know that good hydration contributes to a decrease in hospital acquired infections and, again, Jelly Drops could be a way forward here.
“We also believe it will lead to a better patient experience. If you’re feeling poorly and are perhaps physically unable to eat well these sweets are refreshing and they dissolve in the mouth. This is an exciting trial and we look forward to reporting back in a few weeks’ time. If it’s successful it may be something we can roll our further.”
Ann-Marie Riley, Director of Nursing, added: “I was so pleased to support this initiative when Amy discussed it with me and I think it is an innovative approach to an ongoing issue in healthcare. This work supports our newly launched Nutrition Ambition and I am hugely looking forward to monitoring the results of the pilot.
“Well done to Ward 11 and all those involved for working so collaboratively to improve patient outcomes and experience. The commitment and enthusiasm of the whole team can only benefit those in our care.”