Press release – 19 June 2019
Residents reminded to stay #hydratedandhealthyhere
Local health and care services have launched a campaign reminding residents/service users and patients in Herefordshire to stay hydrated to support their health and wellbeing.
Wye Valley NHS Trust, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Herefordshire Council launched the campaign at a stand in Hereford High Town on 12 June, which is aimed at local residents/service users, patients and people being cared for in care homes and by domiciliary care agencies.
With the summer holidays just around the corner and warmer weather predicted, even temperatures above twenty degrees can see vulnerable people, including children, the elderly and people with long term conditions, becoming dehydrated.
Karen Wright, Director of Public Health Herefordshire, said: “Every year people become seriously unwell as a result of dehydration and are admitted to hospital. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, babies, children and people with long term health conditions are most at risk and they need to drink more water than usual, even if they do not feel thirsty.
“To stay hydrated adults should aim to drink approximately six to eight 200ml glasses of water a day and drink more fluids during warmer weather or when exercising. Using measured water bottles can help people keep track of what they are drinking. Alcohol and drinks with caffeine such as coffee are not as good at keeping people hydrated.
“The fluids intake for infants and children varies according to their age and other factors, so we advise that parents and carers ensure infants and children are offered regular fluids throughout the day”.
Lisa Pritchard, Wye Valley NHS Trust Dietetic Assistant, added: “Together, we’re reminding health and care staff in hospitals, the community and care/nursing homes to watch out for signs of patient dehydration, and make sure to offer patients and residents a drink regularly throughout the day.
“It’s important for patients to stay hydrated in hospital and also when they return home or to a care home to help with their recovery and to stay healthy. When people are not well they may not remember to drink enough fluids or realise the importance of good hydration. It is important to note however that some adults may be advised by their doctor to follow a fluid restriction in which case this should be adhered to.
“We have a number of measures in place in our hospitals to monitor and encourage patients to drink plenty of fluid, such as different cups/glasses for those who struggle to drink and individual patient fluid balance charts to monitor fluid intake”.
Helen Richardson, Chief Nursing Officer at Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Dehydration can make you feel very unwell. It can affect anyone, particularly those who are older in age, have other health conditions or the very young. Dehydration symptoms can include: feeling thirsty, confusion, dizziness when you stand up that doesn't go away, dark coloured urine or not going to the toilet to pass water for eight hours, a weak or rapid pulse, and fits (seizures).
“For children under five years old they can include: seeming drowsy, breathing fast, few or no tears when they cry, a soft spot on their head that sinks inwards (sunken fontanelle), a dry mouth, dark-yellow urine or cold and blotchy-looking hands and feet.
“In warm weather make sure you are drinking plenty, water is best. If you suspect that someone is dehydrated ensure they are drinking enough fluids and if they are being sick or have diarrhoea and are losing too much fluid, contact your GP or call NHS111”.
Hints and tips to stay hydrated
- Keep a drinks bottle handy to encourage you to drink wherever and whenever
- Encourage vulnerable people, including children, the elderly and people with long term conditions, to drink plenty of fluids
- Remember to drink more when you exercise or spend time in hot environments
- Set reminders on your phone, watch or email to have a drink regularly
- Add a slice of lemon, lime and/or basil to your water to give it some extra flavour
- Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and water rich foods.
Representatives from Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Wye Valley NHS Trust, and Herefordshire Council
Notes to Editors WVT:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £185 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
Fiona Gurney, communications officer, or John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928