PATIENTS at Warrington Hospital were treated to afternoon tea and advice on how to stay healthy while in hospital.

From March 11 until 17, the focus was to ‘reinforce, focus and energise’ as part of nurtirion and hydration week.

The team of dietitians worked across the hospital sites promoting the importance of patients receiving the right nutrition during and after their hospital stay.

To celebrate the week they took part in a global nutrition and hydration afternoon tea party, an event organised nationally to get organisations involved in getting the messages across to staff and patients about the importance of eating and drinking properly.

The hospital hosted the afternoon tea last Thursday, March 14, across all the wards on both hospital sites.

Sid Bhattacharyya, acute dietitian said: "This is all about promoting good nutrition and hydration across all wards as these are key parts of good clinical care, aiding recovery and patients’ ability to fight off infections.

“Being well-fed and hydrated also helps patients to get better and go home sooner, and the majority of patients do want to go home as soon as they can to their families.

"Day-to-day I work on the wards to see patients who require dietary intervention. Mostly those at risk of being malnourished – we also deal with patients who need tube feeding or needs a special type of diet.

"There is an aspect of education in our consultations as we like to educate the patients on what kind of dietary therapy they need.

"Patients get dehydrated very easily as they are physically unable to drink cups or water or forget as they are so ill and tired."

Signs of dehydration include having a dry mouth or lips, thirst, tiredness, headache, dry and loose skin and dark-coloured or strong smelling urine.

Good levels of hydration in older people can help prevent or aid the treatment of pressure ulcers, low blood pressure, urinary infections, constipation, confusion and falls.

The average person should aim to drink at least eight glasses per day and fresh, cool water is the best drink for staying hydrated.

This can also include low calorie squash, tea and coffee but people are advised to avoid large amounts of caffeine and alcohol, as these can make you pass more urine and increase your risk of dehydration.

The team of dietitians, dietetic assistants and clerical staff work together with the multidisciplinary team to treat adults and children within various locations.

These include hospitals, GP practices, outpatient clinics, group education sessions and home visits.

There are several reasons why someone may need to see a dietitian. Some of these can include: diabetes, malnutrition, IBS syndrome, kidney failure and weight reduction.

The team also work closely with other teams, like the speech and language therapists to care for the patients who might experience conditions like swallowing difficulties.