Nursing Times Award Winner

A supply of long straws by the bed help patients drink when they struggle to sit up

Josephine Crabb sent the following idea...

A supply of long straws should be available on every ward for patients who struggle to drink out of a conventional cup.

Many disabled people, my mother being an obvious example, hate drinking out of a plastic beaker with a lid. A glass with a straw is a far more natural way for an adult or older child to enjoy a cold drink

An extra thought from Jill

If the patient is a child or, to add a bit of fun for an adult, why not bring in more elaborate and highly colourful straws. As long as they bend and work in the same way, it is simply an opportunity to brighten things up. They can also look quite decorative in a box by the bed.

And, if there is an imaginative supply of straws by the bed, it makes sense to ensure that there is also an imaginative supply of drinks within easy reach.

I always try to ensure that an interesting array of small bottles and cartons are arranged in a basket on the table by my highly disabled mother's bed so that it is easy for any visitor to offer her a drink. To make it more obvious, I have placed a sign above the bed (my mother cannot speak) suggesting, politely, that visitors offer Mum a drink and, at the same time, enjoy one themselves.

Drinking is a sociable activity, so it is much more natural for everyone to have one rather than watch my mother drinking alone.


Inspire others: Submit your idea