Protected mealtimes

Protected mealtimes are periods of time over lunch or dinner when all non-urgent clinical activity stops. This ensure patients are able to eat their meals in peace.

You can see the times of meals on the poster at the entrance to the ward where protected mealtimes are applicable. The nurses, catering staff, volunteers and carers are available to help serve meals and assist patients who may need help.

Protected mealtimes for lunch and dinner time are on wards 1, 4, 10, 11, 12 and the Haematology and Transplant Unit.

Why are protected mealtimes a good idea?

  • They allow patients to eat their meals in a calm and relaxing environment without unnecessary interruption.
  • They allow nursing staff to monitor and help patients to meet their nutritional needs. This helps to ensure patients don't become malnourished.
  • They improve and enhance the patients' experience of hospital food.

There are many reasons why patients do not or cannot eat during their hospital stay. Some patients have said that they were continually interrupted when they were trying to eat their meals.

Who will be on the ward during protected mealtimes?

As well as patients, the only people on the ward will be the nurses, and staff involved with service meals. Their aim is to help encourage and observe the patients' food intake during their mealtime and to make it an enjoyable experience.

However, all emergency treatments will still be dealt with.

All visitors will be asked to leave the ward at mealtimes, except carers helping with meals.

How can carers help?

  • If you would like to help your relative or friend at mealtimes this would be welcomed by staff.
  • Otherwise, please visit your relative or friend at an alternative time to the ward mealtimes.
  • Visitors can use this time to get refreshments. There is a coffee shop in Oak Road Reception, The Christie Restaurant or local eating places in Didsbury or Withington.
  • If possible, please do not telephone the ward for information during these times, so that staff can concentrate on helping the patients.

If you have any worries or concerns about this, then please speak to the nurse in change.