Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
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Inpatient FAQ's














Can I be referred to a dietitian as an inpatient?

All patients are nutritionally screened by a healthcare professional on admission and weekly thereafter. The results of this screening will determine whether a referral to a dietitian is necessary. Similarly, if you are an inpatient, or a relative of an inpatient, and you feel it would be helpful to see a dietitian, please mention this to a member of staff and they will be able to make the referral if appropriate.

How long will it take to be seen?

Once we receive your referral, the dietitian will aim to see you within 2 working days.

What happens if I don’t eat well in hospital?

If you are not eating well for any reason, you must inform a member of staff to ensure that you get the support you need as soon as possible. It is important for you to eat well as this will aid your recovery therefore, enabling you to go home sooner. Extra snacks, supplements drinks and high energy meal options are available if required. Assistance is available for help during mealtime eg; helping to feed you or cutting up food, adapted cutlery for independent feeding as well as different food choices for patients who have difficulty chewing or swallowing.

Are my family allowed to bring food into the hospital?

Yes. Generally, foods which can be stored at room temperature, in a sealed container, that do not require refrigeration are the best option. Perishable foods e.g. sandwiches or chilled desserts that need to be stored in a fridge should be consumed straight away or taken away with your visitor. Hot meals cannot be safely re-heated on the ward. However, hot meals may be brought in, in a vacuum flask for immediate consumption during your visit. It should be consumed within 4 hours.

If I am following a special diet how can I ensure that I get the correct food in hospital?

If you have a dietary requirement please inform a member of staff upon admission. Special dietary requirements eg: gluten free, low potassium, etc. are available at each meal service. Separate vegetarian, vegan, texture modified, halal and kosher menus are also available on request.

What happens if I miss a meal?

If you were off the ward when meals were served, a snack bag can be offered. Requests for this service should be directed to a member of staff.

What information is available for inpatients?

A number of informative leaflets and diet sheets will be offered to you by the nursing staff or dietitian in accordance with your treatment and care.

What about problems, complaints and suggestions?

If you are unhappy with the service provided, or have suggestions of ways in which we can improve our service, please speak to your dietitian as a first point of contact. In addition, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can also help you and help us improve our services if necessary.

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Last updated - 25 August 2016
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