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Maternity Unit food changes

12 April 2010

Women in the General Hospital’s Maternity Unit can now have healthy snacks and drinks at anytime of the day thanks to a new initiative from Health Promotion and the Midwifery Department.

Staff carried out a survey which asked women who had been in the maternity unit what they thought about the food served there and how it could be improved. The results found people were generally pleased with the food; most women said it was good quality, nutritious, tasty and varied. They were also positive about service provided by the catering staff.

However, many women said they wanted to be able to get food outside of meal times, particularly when they missed meals because they were looking after their babies and during the night when they’re up feeding and might want a snack and or a hot drink.

As a result, the hospital catering department now provides a display fridge with a range of healthy eating snacks. Head of Midwifery, Elaine Torrance, said: “The survey has proved to be a useful tool to gather women's views and initiate changes in the maternity unit to meet their needs. 

“We’re delighted to be working with the Catering Department to offer women healthy snacks such as sandwiches, yoghurts, fruit pots and smoothies which are available to women at any time.”

Health Promotion Officer, Louise Dartnall, said: “It's really important that new mums have access to healthy, nutritious food at any time during their stay. The survey findings provided a good lever to influence the food served in the maternity ward.  We hope that this sets a good example for promoting healthy food and provides a basis for other patient-led initiatives within the hospital.“

Patients will be surveyed again later this year to see if the improvements have made a difference to women's experiences on the ward.

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