New and innovative user-friendly smart cups are being trialled for six months by the NHS to help keep patients regularly hydrated and reduce the risk of urine infections.
The hydration cups are to be piloted in four care homes, three in Southend (Admiral Court, Delaware and Priory House) and one in Castle Point and Rochford locality (Elizabeth House).
Each resident will receive a tumbler and mug along with the base unit. Encouraging and supportive messages can be either be pre-set or recorded by a family member to remind the resident or their carer to take in fluids. A night light glows to help the user find their cup at night or flashes when a person has not had a drink for 20 minutes. It is hoped that the number of residents being admitted for urine infections will decrease due to the prompt of the cups.
The hydration cups are also being piloted on Princess Anne and Windsor Wards at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with a view to rolling them out to a further two wards depending on the benefits realised from the pilot. It is hoped that extra encouragement with hydration will increase the recovery rate for patients on these wards, and Trust staff are looking forward to seeing if improvements are identified during the trial.
During the pilot this will mainly focus on care home residents and patients on Princess Anne and Windsor Wards but if successful it is hoped that this can be used within community settings for people of all age groups.
NHS Castle Point and Rochford and NHS Southend CCG Chief Nurse Tricia D’Orsi said:
“This hydration cups should make it easier for patients to self-hydrate, but importantly also support healthcare professionals in spotting the signs of dehydration early. Elderly people are often the most vulnerable due to physiological changes in the ageing process, while mental and physical frailty can further increase risk of dehydration which may require a hospital admission. Anything we do to improve the care and comfort of patients and reduce hospital admissions or length of stay is welcomed and I look forward to the results of the pilot in due course.