What CQC outcomes say about Eating and nutritional care:

A reminder from last time….. 

What CQC outcomes say about Eating and nutritional care:


What should people who use services



People who use services:

  • Are supported to have adequate nutrition and hydration.

This is because providers who comply with the regulations will:

  • Reduce the risk of poor nutrition and dehydration by encouraging and supporting people to receive adequate nutrtion and hydration
  • Provide choices of food and drink for people to meet their diverse needs, making sure the food and drink they provide is nutritionally
    balanced and supports their health.

Prompts for all providers to consider
The following prompts relate to all registered providers where they prepare,
or support people who use services to prepare, food and drink. The term
‘provide’ means the preparation of food and drink and includes where the
service gives support to people to eat and drink. The food and drink used may
be purchased either by the provider or by the person using the service. These
prompts do not cover the administration of artificial hydration which may be
essential to maintain hydration.

Outcome 5A had so much to think about we split it it down further so here is the rest of 5A to explore further…….

5A Where the service provides food and drink, people who use services
have their care, treatment and support needs met because:

●● They have food and drink that:
— are handled, stored, prepared and delivered in a way that meets the
requirements of the Food Safety Act 1990
— are presented in an appetising way to encourage enjoyment
— are provided in an environment that respects their dignity
— meet the requirements of their diverse needs
— take account of any dietary intolerances they may have.
●● They can be confident that staff will support them to meet their eating and
drinking needs with sensitivity and respect for their dignity and ability.

Here’s a suggestion from Social Care Institute for Excellence…

Use a ‘discreet sign’ for people who need assistance with meals

Use a discreet signal to indicate that someone needs assistance with eating, for example a different coloured tray. This saves people the embarrassment of having to ask, or of being asked, if they need help.

This idea can be used in different settings – so seeing how someone else has done it can be useful to you, even if they work in a different area of care.

For example, this idea has been put into practice in hospitals, where using a red tray provides an effective signal to staff without compromising the patient’s dignity. The system is being monitored and refined, but has been found helpful in promoting individual care.

A daily updated list of patients due to receive food on red trays can be included in shift handovers and provided for kitchen staff. A red tray is also a simple reminder to staff to check the patient’s notes for guidance on any specific help or nutritional needs. In several hospitals, the red tray system has been linked with protected mealtimes.
●● They are enabled to eat their food and drink as independently as possible.

There are lots of eating and drinking independent living aids available that will really support this type of independence.

●● All assistance necessary is provided to ensure they actually eat and drink,
where they want to but are unable to do so independently.

Use the ‘knife and fork’ symbol 

Placing a knife and fork symbol near someone’s bed is an easy way to help staff identify which people need support during mealtimes.

This idea can be used in different settings – so seeing how someone else has done it can be useful to you, even if they work in a different area of care.

For example, this idea has been put into practice by United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust.
●● They have supportive equipment available to them that allows them to eat
and drink independently, wherever needed.
●● They are helped into an appropriate position that allows them to eat and
drink safely, wherever needed.
●● They are not interrupted during mealtimes unless they wish to be or an
emergency situation arises.
●● They will have any special diets or dietary supplements that their needs
require arranged on the advice of an appropriately qualified or experienced
●● They have access to specialist advice and techniques for receiving nutrition
where their needs require it.
●● The service takes into account relevant guidance, including that from the
Care Quality Commission’s Schedule of Applicable Publications (see
appendix B).

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