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We operate a protected mealtimes policy at lunchtime between 12pm and 1pm every day.

The aim is to provide a protected period of time where ward activities are reduced to a minimum so that full focus is on patients’ nutritional needs. This gives patients the time to eat their meals comfortably.

The RED tray system is used to highlight patients who nursing staff have assessed and identified as requiring some level of assistance with eating. These may include patients with physical/dexterity weakness, cognitive impairment or those requiring specialist support e.g. speech language therapy or those needing specific dietary support prescribed by dieticians.

By protecting the lunchtime meal and providing supportive measures, a better mealtime experience will be promoted. This is expected to encourage patients to eat more food and therefore improve their nutritional intake.

The Trust currently has approximately 30 volunteers who undertake the role of mealtime assistants. This involves preparing the patient for his/her meal, assisting the patient to choose an appropriate meal option from the menu, cutting up food or assisting with feeding .

Each ward has its own individual menus for the type of patients it is catering for. We also offer options for patients with special dietary needs, such as coeliac, vegetarian or halal. For more information, please speak to a member of staff.

If you would like to assist with your relative’s meal or have any queries, please speak to the nurse in charge. Arrangements can be made for patients with special dietary needs to discuss their requirements with a Dietician, Catering Manager or a Speech and Language Therapist if modifications are required due to swallowing difficulties.

Useful links

Key staff

Patient information leaflets

Useful information

This service is available at:

  • Russells Hall Hospital

Where to find us

  • Hospital-wide, Russells Hall Hospital