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Orchard patients to receive iron-rich energy boost

31 Mar 2017

Patients at the St Bernard’s Hospital in Ealing have much improved nutritious fresh cook menus available to them, West London Mental Health NHS Trust today announced.

The move has seen the Dietetics team at the Orchard partnering with catering contractors Outsourced Client Solutions (OCS), to produce new fresh cook menus (with input from the patients), where iron rich choices have been highlighted, together with a guide that will educate service users on foods that can increase their energy levels.

The highlighted menu will be available from 30 March to 2 April and coincides with the Orchard’s National Women’s Day celebrations. Women have increased needs for iron in the diet compared to men, and can feel mentally and physically tired if body iron is low.

The Orchard is a women’s only, secure unit based on the St Bernard’s site in Ealing and is part of the West London Mental Health Trust. The Orchard service has a clear model of care that serves to treat women patients in the least restrictive environment with a focus on collaborative care planning and active engagement.

The WLMHT London services have developed innovative and highly comprehensive nutritional specifications that promote physical and mental health for all our patients, whether young, adult or older; accommodating both clinical and personal needs. The science based specifications are used to guide our contractors, having been praised and adopted by other large healthcare organisations for their patients.

A strategy of providing healthy choices as well as ensuring enough to eat has been followed and will be rolled out to both male and female services across the Trust. Fruit and vegetable intake is encouraged by offering a fresh salad with both lunch and supper as an optional extra, a variety of vegetables, and insisting on provision of a high quality fruit juice with assured vitamin C levels.

The Trust is constantly developing meals with patients, so that the menus continuously evolve to achieve healthy recipes that are or become patient favourites.

Alison Sullivan, Chief Dietician at the trust, said: “’A healthy diet, whether it contains meat or not, can supply the right amount of iron to produce enough oxygen carrying red blood cells.

“Women need nearly twice as much iron as men, but generally require less food, therefore, extra care is needed to include iron rich foods on a daily basis. Although dietary iron is found in many foods, it is more difficult for women to meet their needs.

“The new fresh cook menus have been designed to be nutritious and flavoursome, to help women maximise their iron intake and learn about sources of iron in their meals.”

Notes to Editor:

WLMHT contact details:

Melissa Tindle (Communications Officer)

020 8354 2276

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