Catering changes for restricted diets
23 Nov 2021
Caregivers identified simple ways to improve the meals being offered to people who have restricted diets, due to allergies, medical conditions or physical abilities, to make them more appealing and to improve the patient experience.
St John of God Ballarat Hospital Quality and Development Manager Josh Stott helped bring the hospital’s dietitians, speech therapists and catering caregivers together to find better ways to meet patients’ needs.
“Our dietitians went into the kitchen, where they were able to educate and support our caregivers making and delivering meals, to help ensure the meals would always meet patient requirements,” he said.
“Our speech therapists, who are focused on supporting patients who have restricted diets due to swallowing issues, also helped the kitchen caregivers ensure that the food looks as good as it tastes while accommodating the dietary requirements.”
According to Josh, patients have responded really well to the changes.
“We transitioned to the common menu recently which made a difference to the offerings across the hospital,” he said.
“These additional tweaks make sure that the experience of a patient with a restricted diet is the same as other patients, and we are starting to see that in our patient feedback.”
The team also invited a family member to contribute to the redesign of the menu.
“We were able to gain their insights directly and then use these to benefit other patients going forward, as well as demonstrate our commitment to the fact that every moment matters,” Josh said.
St John of God Health Care Patient Experience and Nursing Strategy Group Manager Caroline Zani said this work was a great example of person-centred care in action.
“We are rolling out the 3Cs program across all of our hospitals, which is focused on providing support and training so that all of our caregivers remain focused on providing person-centred care through communication, connection and compassion,” she said.
“The work done at St John of God Ballarat Hospital in using patient experience and applying the learnings across the hospital is exceptional and exactly what person-centred care is all about.”