Ritchie calls for ‘protected meal times’ in hospitals

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Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has called for the introduction of protected meal times in hospitals across Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales in the best interests of patients. Ritchie told Newry Times, “The Hospital Caterer’s Association (HCA) carries out vital work in providing regular meals for patients. “The Francis Review highlighted the importance of good quality, regular and nutritious meals in hospitals as key to a patient’s recovery. It is therefore critical that regular meal times are protected in hospitals to promote rest and avoid interruption, as I highlighted my parliamentary Early Day Motion in this issue. “Such practice allows patients to eat their meals without disruption and enable staff to provide assistance to those patients unable to eat independently. Ritchie added, “I was pleased to see this motion receive widespread support in Parliament and the UK Government must now work with the HCA and the devolved administrations to ensure that best practice is introduced to provide patients with the best nutrition regime to aid their recovery.”
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