National Nutrition and Hydration Week

Posted: March 12, 2019

Help Brighter Futures hit their Droplet Cup Appeal Target

This week (11-15 March) is National Nutrition and Hydration Awareness week and the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust charity, Brighter Futures is appealing for local residents to donate to its Droplet Cup appeal in a bid to smash the target.

Droplet Cups are innovative devices that make it easier for patients to stay hydrated and help carers and health care professionals to detect if a patient isn't drinking regularly enough.

The cups are particularly beneficial to those who need additional support to stay hydrated, such as people living with dementia or the effects of a stroke. For patients who are at risk of poor hydration, this can inhibit their recovery, lengthen their stay in hospital or even affect their survival.

The cups work by flashing at regular intervals to encourage patients to have a drink. Families are also able to play their own more personal message using the recorder located on the bottom of the cup, which will play out loud regularly for a patient to hear. This function is particularly beneficial to patients whose native language isn't English, as they can hear a message from their family and friends spoken in their native tongue.

The appeal aims to purchase six cups for every ward at the Great Western Hospital. This follows a successful pilot on four wards, which ran last year and saw an increased intake of fluid in patients.

The Trust is working on a number of projects to improve nutrition and hydration for patients and the recent Hip Quality Improvement Project saw regular tea parties for hip fracture patients. As well as this, the Trust is looking to introduce pictorial menus so that patients can see visual examples of the food options available every day. These menus are designed to encourage patients to choose their meals and enjoy the food they are served.

Brighter Futures is just £1,000 away from reaching its target for the Droplet Cup appeal. Cat Newman, Associate Director of Fundraising, said: "We really want to hit this target soon, so that we can purchase these great and necessary cups.

"We would like to say thank you to Lexus Swindon for donating nearly half of the target funds, and are encouraging anybody else who would like to donate to do so."

Maxine Buyanga, Matron from Trauma and Orthopaedics, said: "I am passionate about promoting the importance of nutrition and hydration for patients across the Trust, as the impact it can have on patients is astounding.

"With good hydration, patients feel more energetic, are more engaged, find it easier to pass urine and have improved kidney function. There is also a marked improvement in patient morale.

"It is so important that we provide appropriate patients across the Trust with these droplet cups as everybody needs to stay hydrated to help with their recovery. The droplet cup does not replace nursing contact with patients; it is another additional prompt / reminder for patients to take in as much fluid as they can.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to this appeal."

To make a donation to the Droplet Cup Appeal, please visit

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