Pictorial Menus

We are so grateful to everybody who donated to our Pictorial Menu Appeal.

£7,000 was raised to develop pictorial menus and to purchase droplet cups.  

Research shows that approximately 35 per cent of elderly patients admitted to NHS hospitals are at risk of malnutrition. Poor nutritional status creates a vicious cycle of infection, increased length of stay, falls, and discharge to higher level of care facilities or readmissions.  

The Trust knows that eating right and drinking plenty are essential for everyday health and fitness, and it's even more important when recovering from illness or injury.  

Maxine Buyanga, Matron and lead for nutrition, has been leading a drive across the Trust to champion the importance of nutrition and hydration, and to introduce a range of initiatives to encourage patients to eat and drink well.  

Patients living with dementia and other cognitive impairments will benefit from the pictorial menus, which are designed with user-friendly layouts, colours and images of relevant foods and animals capable of boosting recognition. 

Providing these patients with a name and image stimulates both the visual and language areas of the brain, increasing the chance of accurate memory recall. If a patient is unable to communicate, they are able to point or say what they want from the menus and it means they can make their own food choices. 

The A4 pictorial menus have been made available across 24 wards in Great Western Hospital and in the Swindon Intermediate Care Centre. A3 menus are also available for patients with visual impairments.  

“The introduction of a pictorial menu will make a real difference in enhancing mealtime experiences,” said Maxine Buyanga. 

“We want to give patients back the ability to always make their own choices about their care, even down to what they would like for lunch. The menus will open up opportunities for patients who might struggle to make a decision or understand words, and will help them to pick foods that they enjoy.  

“Thank you to everyone who donated and helped us to develop these brilliant menus.” 

Local business TE Connectivity donated £2,213 to the pictorial menu appeal.  

“The employees at the TE Connectivity Swindon facility have supported Brighter Futures over many years and we were delighted to be able to support this recent appeal,” said Neil Steptoe, Senior Manager Technical Support at the company. 

“TE Connectivity provided a grant from its corporate responsibility programme towards providing this simple means of ensuring that patients suffering with Dementia and other cognitive ailments have the ability to select and receive the food and drink necessary to satisfy their dietary needs.”