1st March 2016

Nutrition and hydration in the hospice

St Richard’s offers specialist care that is designed to meet each patient’s individual needs. We recognise that people have a deep connection with food and eating is important to our quality of life, which is why our holistic care extends to our approach to catering.

Often people lose their appetite, either as a result of their illness or as a result of treatments. Our chef and his skilled team are passionate that patients being cared for at the hospice should be able to enjoy their favourite foods, despite their clinical challenges, in the final days of their lives.

The team produces delicious meals using fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers, choosing foods with high nutritional and calorific value and incorporates them into appetising small portion meals. By being offered a choice of meals, attractively presented, many patients are enthused to eat despite having a poor appetite.

Our specialist nurses, who care for patients in their own communities, are able to offer advice to help patients to enjoy nutritious snacks and light meals. Relatives tell us that they are encouraged by seeing their loved ones enjoy even small meals.

Kevin RatcliffeSome patients can experience some unpleasant side effects from their treatments, including dry mouths and lips which cause them to experience difficulty swallowing.  Using the latest catering equipment available, we are able to ease symptoms by producing fruit based liquid sprays, sorbets and ice-creams to help with mouth care.

This month marks Nutrition and Hydration week, 14th to 16th March, when the importance of food and drink to our physical health and wellbeing will be highlighted. If you, or your loved one, are living with a life-limiting or chronic illness, we would encourage you to eat as well as you can to feed not only your body but also your soul.


Kevin Ratcliffe

Head of Catering Services