We’ll drink to that!

From left to right: Karen Oliver NACC chair, Emma Strachan NHS Leeds, Ayeesah Lewis NHS Leeds and Jacklyn Case from sponsors NH Case

Leeds Older People Matter Food Group picked up an award at the National Association for Care Catering Awards 2012 last week in recognition of its contribution to promoting good hydration and wellbeing to older people.

The event was a celebration of teams and individuals in the care catering sector that have demonstrated real excellence, dedication, innovation and achievement over the past 12 months.

Leeds Older People Matter Food Group scooped the new hydration award after impressing the judges with their campaign, which aims to ensure older people in the city are drinking between six and eight drinks per day at regular intervals, to reduce the risk of dehydration.

Dehydration is a major issue for older people, with nearly £2 million being spent in Leeds in 2009 admitting people to hospital with symptoms of the condition. In 2010/11, urinary tract infections cost services almost £5 million.

The Leeds campaign offers a resource pack for front-line health and social care workers to use to help them raise the importance of keeping hydrated to service users. People with dementia are given fridge magnets and marker pens to help them remember how many drinks they have had each day.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, the council’s executive member with responsibility for public health in Leeds said:

“I am delighted that this excellent campaign has been recognised by the National Association for Care Catering Awards 2012.

“Good hydration is really important in helping older people continue to enjoy a good quality of life, and also helps to prevent many illnesses, which can often lead to hospitalisation.

“I don’t think people necessarily realise the risk to their health of not keeping well hydrated, and this campaign has done a fantastic job of raising awareness in health and social care professionals, and older people themselves.”

Derek Johnson, principal catering manager for adult social care services in Leeds said:

“We want all front line health and social care professionals to take the lead in keeping older people properly hydrated. The free resources developed by this campaign will help us all to make a difference.”

Some of the warning signs of dehydration to look out for include people feeling thirsty, complaints of headaches, tiredness and a dry mouth, lips or eyes.

Keeping properly hydrated can help prevent (or assist in treating)

• Headaches

• Urinary tract infections

• Constipation

• Dizziness and confusion (which can lead to falls)

• Memory loss

• Kidney stones

• Poor oral health

• Pressure ulcers and skin conditions


Additional info

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) is a progressive organisation representing professionals providing catering to the care industry. They are recognised by local authorities, independent providers, the charitable sector and government departments as a prime source of information and opinion on all aspects of catering within the care sector and whose primary aim is to improve standards.

The NACC works with a number of partners:

• To promote and enrich the standard of catering within the care sector, whether that catering be provided by social care departments or other caring agencies;

• To provide a forum for debate among individuals, companies and organisations of all kinds involved in catering for the care sector;

• To facilitate the exchange of information, experience and expertise;

• To promote the development of professional standards among those involved in catering for the care sector;

• To commission research into matters relating to catering for the care sector; and

• To publish guidelines, policy papers and authoritative statements on all aspects of catering for the care sector


For further information and images contact: info@thenacc.co.uk / 0870 748 0180 or berenice.pretlove@gmail.com / 07508 146 118.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk