Supporting Individuals to Drink and Eat in Accordance with their Support Plan

Ensure that Individuals are Offered Drinks in Accordance with their Support Plan

  • Staff need to ensure that drinks are appropriate to meet the person’s individual needs and their preferences. Where it is necessary Active provide a food and drink plan in the individual’s support plan.
  • Some people need to drink at regular intervals and to monitor their fluid intake carefully in order to manage a medical condition
  • Be aware that for some people there could be immediate health implications in terms of the drinks they are given e.g. people who are lactose intolerant should not be given milk; people with diabetes should be avoiding drinks containing sugar
  • When enabling someone to drink, care must be taken not to rush them, or to make them feel that they need to rush
  • Staff need to be aware of the dangers of leaving people unsupervised with a hot drink or when drinking a hot drink
  • Staff should know the difference between food allergies and food intolerance:

Food allergies: A food allergy is when the body’s immune system reacts unusually to specific foods. Allergic reactions are often mild, but they can sometimes be very serious. If a person has a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), this can be life-threatening. Almost any food can cause an allergic reaction, but there are certain foods that are responsible for most food allergies. The most common are: peanuts, eggs, shellfish, fish

Food intolerance: A food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy. People with food intolerance may have symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating and stomach cramps. This may be caused by difficulties digesting certain substances, such as lactose. However, no allergic reaction takes place.

Use to answer question 8.2c, 8.2e and 8.3e of the Care Certificate

Support and Encourage Individuals to Drink and Eat in Accordance with their Support Plan

  • Staff need to encourage individuals to drink using a positive approach. For some praise works really well. Any form of bullying is unacceptable.
  • Know the importance of being patient and understanding and not belittling people in front of others by referring to a “difficulty with eating and drinking”
  • Using bibs, specialist drinking cups/utensils may be helpful but need to be used with the person’s expressed, informed and independent consent
  • If a person needs to monitor his or her fluid intake then they need to be encouraged to do this independently. If they cannot do so then it will be necessary for the staff member to record this on their behalf. Where this is part of the support plan, Active provide food and fluid intake charts
  • Some people with incontinence problems may need to be encouraged to increase their fluid intake as this can help address it. (This is because it dilutes the urine and thus causes less irritation to the bladder. It can also stretch the bladder and increase its capacity if it has shrunk).

How to report concerns to the relevant person

Active carries out malnutrition and dehydration risk screening for all new clients. This is reviewed regularly. If a staff member has any concerns about an individual’s nutritional or hydration needs, or the support they require, they should inform their line manager immediately.

Use to answer question 8.2d , 8.2e and 8.3e of the Care Certificate

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