CAKES and milkshakes are being used to help frail and elderly patients recover more quickly at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.
The ‘cake and shake’ scheme is now running on Ward 12 – which specialises in caring for frail and elderly patients – where staff give patients a piece of cake and choice of milkshake every afternoon.
The aim is to increase the calorie intake of patients to aid their recovery and help improve their mood.
A high calorie intake is important while in hospital to help boost the body’s immune system and recover more quickly.
It’s especially important for patients with an infection or any skin wounds.
Ward staff also noticed the elderly patients were sometimes not finishing their meals and preferred to pick at bits of food rather eating big meals.
So to ensure these patients were getting all the calories they needed ‘cake and shake’ was launched after an endorsement from the dietitians and doctors.
The daily cake and shake also often improves the mood of patients who look forward to their daily treat, with some being reminded of home comforts, especially helpful to patients with dementia or delirium.
Ward 12 manager, Kirsty Sloan said: “I thought about my grandma who is 90-years-old and loves a piece of cake in the afternoon, so I thought that it would be a great idea to give our patients this treat too.
“Patients are given special high-protein juices by doctors, but these can be warm and sickly, so we thought a nice full-fat cold milk and NesQuick would be a good boost for their fluid and calorie intake.
“So far we’ve served more than 2,200 slices of cake and shakes.
“It’s a conversation starter and a really sociable part of the day, it helps to get patients talking, staff talking, and relatives talking.
“A little piece of cake honestly brings big smiles to our patients and can make a long day seem much brighter!”