Shropshire’s two acute hospitals have introduced blue crockery to their wards to help patients living with dementia.

The blue plates and bowls are now available on all wards at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.

Many people living with dementia experience difficulties with their sight and their perception, which may cause them to misinterpret their surroundings. Switching from white plates to blue plates will help patients with dementia improve their eating, and as a result, their nutritional intake. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important, as it will help them maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.

It followed research by the Dementia Centre at the University of Stirling which revealed that changing white plates for blue ones meant that people living with dementia could see the food they were eating – including chicken, mashed potatoes, porridge, white bread and other typically pale-coloured favourite foods. By changing colours, it made the pale foods stand out, and as a result, the average intake rose by half a pound a day.

Karen Breese Clinical Nurse Specialist with the Dementia Team at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) which runs the RSH and PRH, said: “As a Trust, we feel that promoting design principles is part of our philosophy of care for people living with dementia who use SaTH services. We hope that the blue crockery that we have recently introduced for use on our wards will see an improvement in eating and improved nutritional intake.”

It is the latest move by the Trust’s Dementia Team, which work closely with the National lead for the Butterfly scheme to introduce  finger foods, which are available at any time of the night and day for those living with dementia