It’s Nutrition and Hydration Week! Adequate nutrition is central to eating disorder recovery, and therefore an important part of Orri. In this blog, our Dietetics team share how we apply this focus and care into treatment.
When people are first considering treatment, they often have a lot of questions about how we address the food aspect of recovery.
Healing our relationship to food can represent a daunting departure from eating disorder behaviours. As such, we know that transparency and openness can help people feel safe and trusting around the process at Orri.
With this in mind, we explore how our specialist dietetics team applies the 10 key characteristics of ‘good nutrition and hydration care’ (see: NHS commissioning » 10 key characteristics of ‘good nutrition and hydration care’ (england.nhs.uk) ) at Orri.
What do the 10 characteristics look like for us at Orri?
- All clients work alongside an allocated dietitian who assesses and monitors their needs, and supports them throughout their time at Orri, ensuring appropriate meal plan changes when the time is right
- At Orri, we encourage independence and an intuitive approach to food choice. We meet clients where they are in their recovery. Through collaborative work with each client, we develop individualised meal plans, which support progress in recovery
- Our dietitians work closely with the catering team, to ensure that all nutrition and hydration needs are met. The dietetic team meets with the Ben, the Chef, weekly to discuss the menu and liaises on a daily basis around specific client needs
- We encourage clients to help us create a varied menu and aim to incorporate their favourite dishes, heritage recipes, and meals which challenge their eating disorder
- Mealtimes are important points of the day, and their timings are set to encourage a regular eating pattern. Every meal is supported by experienced eating disorder professionals and therapists. When clients struggle at mealtimes, the team step in to offer support, new approaches and understanding as clients make sustainable changes
- The dietetic team are specialists in the field of eating disorders, and so are our therapists! All Orri team members undergo regular meal support training, to be able to provide a compassionate and supportive environment at mealtimes, while still maintaining pro-recovery boundaries
- Ben works closely with the dietetic team, ensuring that all dietary requirements and allergies are identified and catered for, and that the needs of our clients are met. (This is identified in our FAQ’s). Whilst our main kitchen is used to prepare fresh home-cooked meals, our beautiful Therapy Kitchen is open for additional activities designed to meet the needs of our clients. From practical lunches to weekly Portion Clinics, the space is used flexibly by our dietitians and occupational therapists to offer multidimensional support
- To ensure that we provide the best care we can, our approach to nutritional assessment and provision is detailed in our Nutrition & Hydration policy! Our dietetic team perform monthly audits, evidencing our performance against the policy.
- Our team show their dedication in every aspect of Orri! Our kitchen team have achieved 5 stars from the Environmental Health Office inspection. This highlights the incredible work they achieve at Orri every day and having this result is a testament to their passion, creativity and standard of kitchen compliance – here’s Ben talking about the inspection!
- We implement a collaborative approach to nutrition provision, with clients, dietitians, the kitchen team, and other Orri professionals coming together to meet the needs of our clients and make the approach to food in eating disorder recovery a little different! We do not to talk about calories, nor do we lay down rules. People with eating disorders already have a lot of rules – to the point that these rules dictate how they live their lives. So rather than replace one set of rules with another, our team – led by our Head of Dietetics, Paula – prefer to focus on progress and steps forward, rather than food itself