Water-filled sweets help tackle dehydration in patients struggling to drink

The sweets are specifically designed to boost hydration, are 95% water, sugar-free and vegan but have a solid but smooth texture. 

Matt Bodell
16 April 2021

The sweets are refreshing and they dissolve in the mouth.

A west-midlands hospital trust has introduced water-filled sweets to boost hydration and nutrition among those who are struggling to eat and drink.

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Kown as Jelly Drops, the sweets are specifically designed to boost hydration, are 95% water, sugar-free and vegan but have a solid but smooth texture.

They were created and developed by Lewis Hornby who was inspired to create water sweets after his late grandma Pat, who had dementia, was struggling to hydrate.

Patients on Ward 11 of Walsall Manor Hospital in the west-midlands will be trialing Jelly Drops over the coming weeks.

The trust says that Senior Sister Amy Reynolds has been instrumental in introducing the pilot scheme.

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The approach is also being supported by colleagues across Infection Prevention and Control, Pharmacy, Speech and Language Therapy, Dietetics and Older People’s Mental Health.

Amy explains: “We are always looking for innovative ways to encourage patients’ appetites and keep up their hydration which can be extremely difficult sometimes due to the nature of their health issue or because they are living with dementia.”

“We already know that good hydration contributes to a decrease in hospital-acquired infections and, again, Jelly Drops could be a way forward here.”

“We also believe it will lead to a better patient experience. If you’re feeling poorly and are perhaps physically unable to eat well these sweets are refreshing and they dissolve in the mouth.”

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Ann-Marie Riley, Director of Nursing, added: “I was so pleased to support this initiative when Amy discussed it with me and I think it is an innovative approach to an ongoing issue in healthcare.

“This work supports our newly launched Nutrition Ambition and I am hugely looking forward to monitoring the results of the pilot.”

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