Friday, 22 March 2013

Leeds support for national focus on good nutrition

Leeds pledged its support for the first ever national Nutrition Day this week, which aimed to raise awareness of the importance of good nutritional care, including hydration, in social and healthcare settings throughout the UK.

Organised by the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) and the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), the day focused on providing vital advice and guidance to health and social professionals to help in their work to prevent under nutrition and dehydration.

The aim of the day was to illustrate how, by making positive changes to eating and drinking habits, people can improve their quality of life. It also highlighted to professionals and staff within social and healthcare settings the importance of the role they play in helping to reduce malnutrition-related illnesses that often require complex treatments, prolong recovery periods, delay hospital discharges and increase NHS costs.
Nutrition Day was an opportunity to promote good practice in nutrition and hydration across health and social care settngs in Leeds, as well as highlighting key characteristics for good nutritional care and promoting nutrition advocates.

The Leeds Older People Matter Food Group are launching their Eat Well campaign on 25 March, and this will highlight the risks of malnutrition that affect approximately 16,500 older people in the city.

Council community support staff have been attending nutrition and hydration awareness training to help them spot the signs of dehydration and malnutrition when they are out caring for older people.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive board member for health and wellbeing said:
“Good nutrition and hydration is essential to people’s general health and well-being, and plays a vital part in preventing illness, especially in the very young and very old.

"National Nutrition Day has provided a great platform to promote good nutrition, and also to remind people how much food and fluid is required on a daily basis.

“The council takes on responsibility for public health from 1 April, and we are absolutely committed to working with the NHS and our other partners across the city to ensure that we will identify and take positive steps to help people in Leeds who are vulnerable and at risk of becoming malnourished.”


Additional info
Leeds Older People Matter Food Group received an award at the National Association for Care Catering Awards in 2012 in recognition of its contribution to promoting good hydration and wellbeing to older people. The campaign 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.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Leeds sports pitches closed this weekend

Due to the current ground conditions and the forecasts for continued snow, all Leeds City Council-managed sports pitches will be unavailable for use this weekend.


For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Budget bonus for neighbourhood networks in Leeds

Neighbourhood network schemes offer a wide range of support and activities for older people in Leeds

Leeds’s neighbourhood networks, which between them support over 17,000 older people around the city, have been allocated an additional £300,000 in the council’s 2013/14 budget.

The organisations will be invited to bid for a slice of this extra funding, which is aimed at helping them put new ideas for supporting older people into practice. The neighbourhood networks have a national reputation for innovative new schemes that are tailored closely to the needs of their local communities in a way that cannot be matched by council-run services.

Announcing the new funding, Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for adult social care said:
“One of the great success stories of social care in this city is the work of our fantastic neighbourhood networks to support older people who want to stay independent and remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

“Some of the reasons why they are so successful are that they are inventive and very skilled at finding solutions closely tailored to the needs of the communities where they work. To help the organisations achieve even greater potential, the council is making an extra recurrent £300k available, which will be added to the overall value of the current neighbourhood network contracts.

“We hope that they will bid to use this funding to develop holistic support plans for more older people, continue to build greater community capacity and widen their volunteer base.”

This boost to the neighbourhood networks comes at a time when the council is setting its most difficult budget ever, with nearly £55 million of savings targeted in this financial year alone.

Councillor Yeadon continued:
“The fact that we are increasing funding for the neighbourhood networks is testimony to the fantastic work they do – and the amazing value for money they give. Between them, the organisations harness the work of nearly 6,000 volunteers, who give their time so generously to supporting others. I look forward to seeing what imaginative schemes are proposed as a result of this extra funding.”


Notes for editors
All the city’s neighbourhood networks now have long-term contracts to provide services that support older people to stay living in their own homes for as long as possible. They are rooted in their local communities and the help they give older people includes luncheon clubs, dementia cafes, gardening, shopping, befriending, money advice, advocacy and a wide range of leisure and fitness activities.

Key facts about the neighbourhood networks include:

• They are supported by 5,948 local volunteers, many of whom are themselves older people.
• They provide on-going support to 17,174 older people across the city.
• They provide a befriending service to 2,697 isolated older people in their own homes.
• They support 419 people who have recently been discharged from hospital and need a little extra help to get back on their feet.
• They provide advocacy services to 2,692 older people.
• They provide gardening services to 3,332 older people.
• They help 1,717 older people with regular shopping trips.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578