Nutrition and Dietetics - Tube feeding nutrition

The Home Enteral Nutrition Team sees people who require a feeding tube due to a reduced ability to swallow food and drink for assessment and follow-up. 

Assessment

We offer an initial appointment where the pros and cons of having a feeding tube are discussed, and information is provided about the procedure itself.

At this appointment, the person's current diet is assessed, and dietary alterations and oral nutritional supplements are recommended where appropriate.

The different options for feeding once a tube has been placed are also discussed in order for the patient to see how it might fit into their daily routine.

The patient is able to ask any questions they might have, and our aim at this stage is to ensure that people have enough information to make an informed choice as to whether to have a tube placed.

Tube placement

We work closely with colleagues in endoscopy and gastroenterology to arrange placement of feeding tubes. 

Aftercare

On the ward

Nutrition Nurses visit all patients with feeding tubes on the wards to ensure the tube site remains as healthy as possible.

Patients are regularly reviewed by the acute Dietitians during this time, and care is handed over to the Home Enteral Feeding Dietitian on discharge.

Nutrition Nurses provide training with patients and/or relatives and carers prior to discharge, arrange for deliveries of feed and supplies through our contractor Nutricia Homeward, and ensure that all is in place for tube feeding to be managed in the community. 

In the community

Nutrition Nurses and the Home Enteral Feeding Dietitian aim to make contact with patients and/or their carers shortly after discharge to check everything is going smoothly.

We aim to visit patients at home or offer a clinic appointment within one month of a tube being placed.  Further reviews are arranged according to need and request.

Once a patient is stable, six-monthly reviews are the norm, but we are always happy to review sooner and are always contactable by telephone.

When a message has to be left, we aim to get back to the caller the same day wherever possible.

In the community the Dietitian monitors weight, blood results, feed tolerance, medications and lifestyle impact and makes changes to the feed and feeding regimen as appropriate in agreement with the patient and/or patient's representatives.

The Nutrition Nurse checks the tube, ensures timely replacement, ensures the skin around the tube is healthy and recommends products to help treat any problems. 

Useful resources

 

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