Supporting Individuals to have Access to Nutritional Products
Ensure that any Nutritional Products are within Reach of those that have Restrictions on their Movement/Mobility
Sometimes making sure something is accessible to the person involves just trying a different way e.g. if a person can’t open a packet there might be a piece of equipment that enables them to do so safely and independently; or providing a tray or table which is wheelchair height. If a person can not access food when necessary it may have the following implications:
- Leaving food and drink out of a person’s reach could put them at risk and could be regarded as abuse. If the person has capacity to make a decision about food and drink they should decide where it should be kept/placed to be accessible to them.
- People with some special diets may be at risk of harm if deprived access to food at regular or timed intervals, e.g. diabetics, many may need appropriate food with them at all times and should eat regularly (they are often recommended not to go longer than 4 hours without a meal)
- Staff should be aware of any medication needs and when medication should be taken in relation to food. E.g. An hour before food or after food, with food.
Ensure Food is Provided at the Appropriate Temperature and in Accordance with the Support Plan
Everyone’s support plan should have up to date information on what a person can eat and should not eat; their likes and dislikes; their favourite meals; how meals should be presented; whether they need assistance and how this support should be provided; risks associated with choking and swallowing.
- Food needs to be cooked and stored at temperatures which will ensure that it is not going to harm/poison the person. E.g. if cooking something from frozen check whether it needs to thaw or whether it can be cooked directly from the freezer.
- Staff need to be aware of how food is presented. This includes whether or not someone requires it to be pureed; minced, cut up for them, put on a plate, not fed through the mouth e.g. peg fed, or intravenously etc. as well as having it presented in an attractive and palatable way.
- It is important for staff to know that service users can be disadvantaged by their food experiences. E.g. Someone who comes from an Asian culture who is accustomed to eating with their right hand should not be forced to use cutlery
- Sometimes service users may try to give other service users foods which may harm them and this needs sensitive handling, again involving the person who could be harmed in the decisions about what to say to the other person.
- People who have medical or religious needs might need supporting to protect them from eating the wrong foods e.g. when at a buffet, in places that serve halal or non halal meat.
Use to answer question 8.3a and 8.3b of the Care Certificate