A care home in Shrewsbury has won an award for the innovative and fun ways it encourages residents to eat well.

Briarfields in Raby Crescent, a residential home for older people run by Coverage Care, scooped the 2018 Think Food award from the NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Think Food is a practical pathway to signpost care homes in the treatment of malnutrition with everyday food and drinks.

Older people can suffer from malnutrition for a variety of reasons from ill-fitting dentures, a poor swallow, having difficulty feeding, a medical condition, or their mental state.

Briarfields has introduced a number of initiatives to ensure that residents who are identified to be at risk of under eating can up their calorie intake in a healthy way.

Home manager Denise Morris said: “The Think Food pathway has become a key pillar of our care and all our staff are aware of how it fits in with our day to day operation.

“We always have fruit and cake available and residents can also visit our ‘shop’ to buy a range of snacks. We have a hydration trolley in the summer offering smoothies and fruit, which is a novelty for residents and encourages them to take on extra fluid. We also do special activities like film afternoons where they can have ice cream and popcorn.

“For those people that have specific dietary needs we create individual plans to ensure they are eating enough. For instance, we have one resident with dementia who was burning off a lot of calories, as she was very active walking around the building. She liked to stop in reception so we placed a special jar of treats for her there which helped her to take on the extra food she needed.”

Coverage Care Chief Executive David Coull praised the Briarfields team for its win.

He said: “Denise and her team are to be applauded for the proactive and innovative way they are tackling potential dietary issues among residents. Eating well is crucial if older people are to stay as fit and as healthy as possible and everyone at Briarfields is working hard to make that happen.”

The home was presented with a food hamper for residents and staff for the way it has adopted the Think Food approach.

Mary Evans, care assistant Nancy Broad and Enid Becker celebrate the win at Briarfields