A Nursing Times study in 2015 found that 45% of staff at an NHS Trust were dehydrated by the end of their shift.
Dehydration can cause symptoms such as feeling thirsty, dark yellow and strong smelling urine, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, feeling tired, dry mouth, lips and eyes and urinating less than four times per day.
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust takes its role as an employer of over 3,500 people seriously.
Supporting our staff to live well and feel good is a public health action in itself.
A happy, healthy workforce is essential if we want to go on delivering the outstanding patient care we are so proud of.
Dale Boustead, Moving and Handling Advisor at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, devised a creative and collaborative solution to ensure all staff stay hydrated at work.
Dale worked with the trust charity, My WiSH, to purchase water bottles for all staff at the Trust, in both acute and community care.
The bottles were specifically chosen to meet infection and prevention control needs and, in clinical areas, must be kept at designated hydration stations.
This ensures that all staff, but particularly clinical staff, remain hydrated at work.
The bottles have been distributed across Trust and staff are able to mark their name on their bottle.
The initiative included non-clinical staff as well as ward staff.
To support infection prevention and control, clinical staff have been asked to drink at the hydration station or in non-clinical areas, return their bottles to the hydration station after use, wash the bottle at home or in a non-clinical area, wash hands prior to drinking and ensure their name is clearly marked on their bottle.
This simple initiative promotes staff health and wellbeing and supports Ambitions 2 and 7 of the Trust Ambitions – deliver safe care and support all our staff.