Hospital meals made to order save staff time

From left: Clinical support worker Lillian Dickson, patient Graham Winnkitchen, and student nurse Chloe Jo Dudek.
From left: Clinical support worker Lillian Dickson, patient Graham Winnkitchen, and student nurse Chloe Jo Dudek.
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A 12 month pilot eMeals project on a 31 bedded ward at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has shown positive results.

Staff on the ward at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) site can now order inpatient meals using tablet computers on the same day rather than having to fill in a paper form and taking it to catering staff a day in advance.

The old process could takeward staff up to one hour 30 minutes to complete. Not only do the staff on the ward have more time to spend on patient care, the tablets have significantly reduced food wastage , which is a reflection of the Trust’s commitment to become more eco-friendly and efficient.

A staggering 22,630 meals have been ordered on the trial ward using the new system since it started.

Staff feedback has shaped the design of the app, including having clear deadlines for ordering meals and the ability to order items such as custard separately.

Following the trial, the new system has been rolled out across most inpatient wards at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary this month, with the focus then moving to Furness eneral Hospital.

Lisa Winn, Ward Manager for the RLI’s Lancaster Suite, UHMBT, said: “The project has provided a fantastic 
opportunity to work more closely with other departments, helping provide a highly efficient service, putting the patient at the forefront while creating measurable cost savings at a time when the NHS is recognised as being most vulnerable.

Patient Graham Winnkitchen, of Lancaster, said: “The system is fantastic. I have no complaints.

“The meals are delicious.”