To improve the hydration of care home residents, the Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHiCH) project team are working with three residential and one nursing care home to develop plans to pilot the Good Hydration! project. The Good Hydration! initiative involves delivering training to care home staff regarding the importance of hydration/effects of dehydration and the implementation of seven structured drink rounds per day. The team will encourage staff to theme their drink trollies for special occasions, offer a variety of drinks and to ask residents what they would like to drink rather that if they want a drink.
This initiative was developed by the Oxford Academic Health Science Network to improve health and wellbeing, reduce the incidence of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) associated hospital admissions and antibiotic prescribing. The pilot in Oxford led to a 36% reduction in UTIs related hospital admissions, 58% reduction in the need for antibiotic treatment and increased the average time between UTIs from 9 to 80 day. Other areas have demonstrated similar results where the pilot has been implemented. Good Hydration! has won several awards for patient safety, shared learning and quality improvement and is one of the initiatives included in the NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI) hydration pilots’ scheme.
The project team are working collaboratively with South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (SY-ICB), The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust (TRFT) and Sheffield City Council (SCC) to deliver this pilot. SY ICB are providing support to collect baseline and ongoing data to enable the team to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot. TRFT are delivering hydration training in Rotherham care homes and have shared training materials to create consistent practices across the local system. Care homes in Sheffield will also be able to access an online hydration training hub being developed in Rotherham once it is launched. SCC will be working with the project team to trial Aquarate cups in two of the pilot care homes to evaluate their effectiveness at monitoring fluid intake, to demonstrate how technology may enhance clinical practice.
The Good Hydration! project will commence from August 2023 with updates to follow.