Food will play an important part in your recovery and there may be times when you will need to pay special attention to the foods you eat.

During your hospital stay we want you to eat well and not miss meals. Our hospital menu will meet your nutritional needs during your stay. If you have any special dietary requirements please let a member of staff know.

Nutrition screening

All patients who are admitted to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals are screened to assess their nutritional status. This is called the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (or ‘MUST’). This will involve weighing you and asking about your weight history and height. If you are unable to be weighed we may take other anthropometric measures such as your Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC). We may also ask you about your dietary intake.

Inpatient Dietitian Referrals

If your doctor or nurse is concerned that you are underweight, have lost weight or are unable to safely swallow you will be referred to the Dietitian or a Speech and Language Therapist.

Assessment by a Dietitian

If you are struggling to meet your nutritional needs, on a restricted diet and or are underweight the Dietitian may recommend nutritional supplement products (drinks and mousses).

There may be times when you are not able to meet your nutritional requirements orally and may require a special feeding tube. Dietitians are trained to work out your nutritional requirements and provide a feeding regimen to help ensure you remain well nourished and help prevent weight loss.

If the treatment of your medial/surgical condition requires you to follow a specific diet the Dietitian may also advise you on the best foods you need to select from the menu and suitable meals for when you go home.

Will there be anyone else with the Dietitian?

Our department is involved in student training but you will be asked if you are happy for the student to be present or carry out the consultation and if you are not, they will be asked to leave.

Will you have further visits from the Dietitian?

The Dietitian may visit you again to check your weight and progress. If you are being fed via a feeding tube the Dietitian will check, on a regular basis, if you are tolerating the regimen and if changes are needed.

Will you come back to see the Dietitian after you have been discharged?

If the Dietitian needs to see you again, they will agree this with you and explain how the follow up appointment is made and where you should go for your outpatient appointment.