10 March 2017

Independence increases for immobile patients at QMC

Independence increases for immobile patients at QMC

A new initiative is helping spinal injury patients to remain independent and hydrated at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH).

The spinal ward at QMC is one of the first in the East Midlands to introduce the Hydrant, a piece of equipment that assists patients to hydrate themselves - improving their recovery and general wellbeing.

Spinal cord injuries can significantly reduce a patient's mobility, as movement of the upper body is severely restricted or non-existent. This can affect their fluid intake, which can cause dehydration and other complications.

By using the Hydrant bottle's tube patients are able to suck up fluids through the mouth piece that can be conveniently placed close to them. This aids them in self-administering fluids, helping them to feel more alert and self-sufficient.

The Hydrant bottles were secured for the ward thanks to a donation from a patient's family and funds from Nottingham Hospitals Charity.

Claire Hall and her family were inspired to raise money for the bottles whilst Claire's mother Linda was receiving treatment on the ward.

Claire said: "When mum was on the ward she didn't want to bother the staff for a drink but due to having to lie down she wasn't able to reach for her glass herself. The physio team suggested the Hydrant water bottle and the difference it made to mum was incredible. She was more alert and engaged, which helped her recovery.

"We wanted to make the donation of the bottles to the wards to thank the staff for the amazing care they gave to mum and to help future patients on the wards."

Michelle Emsley, who is physiotherapist on NUH's Spinal Unit, said: "Some of our patients have lasting spinal injuries so being able to hydrate themselves means they are gaining some independence back when so much has been taken away. Their whole experience is improved and they are better hydrated as a result.

"Being able to self-manage their fluid intake also improves the mental wellbeing of the patient and they're more engaged in therapy sessions.  It might sound simple but it means so much and makes a huge difference to their recovery."

The bottles are a welcome addition to the ward for Nutrition and Hydration Week, 13-19 March. The national campaign highlights how nutrition and hydration plays an important part in providing quality care, experience and safety improvement in health and social care settings. NUH will be undertaking a week of activities to raise awareness of how food and drink is an essential component to physical and mental well-being.

NHS Nottingham University Hospitals
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