NNNG Conference: 2004 Burton

I was encouraged to attend the NNNG Annual Conference by our Nutrition Nurse Specialist, Lynne Colagiovanni, who also happens to be the Chairman of the NNNG.

The sessions were very interesting and mostly ran to time for the morning. The afternoon was for workshops. There were two sessions that particularly impacted on me. The first was by  Rick Wilson of Kings College Hospital . He was talking about the Better Hospital Food Project and explaining how trials of protected meal times were going. This was very interesting to a ward based nurse. It is frustrating that the meal times can be the busiest times of the day for staff and patients. The problems with implementing this were also explained, these mainly seemed to hinge on the usual problem makers, consultants and visitors! It was easy to see the benefits of adapting this strategy and despite the upheaval it would cause I would be a fan of its introduction within my trust. Most of the audience seemed to be favourable to this, although many noticed that it is a promotion to prominence of something that has been steadily devalued in recent history!

The other session that had real impact was in the debate, “Feeding in palliative care- more burden than benefit?”. The impact comes from the presentation, which was as a court of law with Kate Pickering being the judge and Dr Simon Gabe acting as council for the argument and Dr Barry Jones acting against. There were two case histories on which we, the rather large jury, had to vote. It was a fairly light hearted way of dealing with a relatively heavy subject. All the sessions and workshops were valuable and I have plenty to feedback to my colleagues on the ward, but these two did stand out.

As usual the conference was well supported by industry, with an exhibition of the latest products in feeds, tubes, catheters and services.

The venue, the Bass Museum in Burton on Trent, was very good, old and having character made it a little more interesting. The food was lovely and plentiful, the only criticism could be the chairs in the main hall weren’t the most comfortable, but after lunch that may stop the need to sleep! The Beach Party was excellent and the committee had obviously put in a lot of work. Most of us had made some effort although unfortunately the weather did not play the game, being rather indifferent. The barbecue was excellent, steak and salmon included, being something of a foodie this was lovely. The evening went well and the slide in the children’s play area was used frequently, mainly I think by Lynne!!

This was the first 2 day conference for the NNNG and the general feeling was that it was an excellent meeting and should be used as a template for future events.

Melanie Love,
Sister, Gastrointestinal Unit,
University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust.