An NHS trust in Sheffield has launched a new scheme to encourage patients being treated for mental health problems to eat a balanced and nutritious diet.
Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust says it is acting on research which warns that people with mental health issues experience a higher rate of medical complaints such as obesity and diabetes than the general population.
Patients admitted to the trust’s facilities - which include the Longley Centre in Norwood - are now screened to look for signs of malnutrition. A tailored eating plan is offered, which includes meals with extra calories and vitamins for underweight people.
Staff have also been asked to create a ‘relaxed’ atmosphere on wards, encouraging patients to eat well.
Helen Payne, director of facilities management, said: “Some people are service users for a long time, even life, so we have introduced this plan as we believe it’s important to provide nutritious meals with plenty of choice to anyone within our care.”