A group of adult nursing students at the University of South Wales (USW) have come up with a simple idea that could help hospital staff monitor a patient’s fluid intake.
They are proposing that hospitals could look at introducing
jugs with yellow lids, rather than the traditional blue lids, for patients who
are either having their fluids restricted or monitored.
One of the third year student nurses, who will graduating next
March, Donna Walker, said: “A few of our group have worked as health care
support workers and although nursing staff make every effort to ensure patients
are getting the correct fluids, we all agreed that it can be quite difficult to
know which patients are having their fluids monitored on a ward.
“Some patients, for example, may be on fluid restrictions
following complications such as heart failure, whilst others might be being encouraged
to drink more because they are dehydrated.
“Our idea was to introduce an easy visual cue, which can
easily show a nurse or a health care support worker on a busy ward, which
patients they should be monitoring for fluids.
“We chose yellow as it is considered a colour that is
positive for people living with dementia as well as people with impaired vision.
“The lids, which can cost as little as 70p each, could also
be much cheaper than the cost of treating urinary tract infections or
catheterisation, which it has been estimated costs the NHS £500m a year.
“Before we spoke to anyone about our idea, we ran a Twitter
poll with student nurses, current nurses and health care practitioners to ask
how many people easily knew which patients were having their fluids monitored
on their wards. 76% said that they didn’t, unless it had been written in the
After sharing their ideas via social media, the Cwm Taf
University Health Board approached the six third-year students - Donna Walker,
Charlotte Phillips, Cerys Davies, Rachel Lloyd-Jones, Cellan Howells and Tamara
Konten - and invited them in to talk through their idea in more detail.
As a result, they are now trialling the use of yellow lids
on water jugs, on a surgical ward at the Royal Glamorgan hospital in
Llantrisant, South Wales.
Clare Barker, Deputy Ward Manager at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, said: “This is an innovative idea – the use of yellow lids will be clearly identifiable to everyone, including patients, relatives and staff.”
Student nurse Charlotte Phillips, added: “We are really
pleased that the lids are being trialled at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. We plan
to raise awareness of the lids with the family and visitors of the patients as
well as the staff, so when they visit they are encouraged to offer their
relative a drink or understand that their fluids are being restricted.
“We can’t believe the reaction that we’ve had to our idea
so far. We’ve had nurses, health care and medical practitioners contacting us
from across the UK, and even Australia to say that they love this simple idea.
And we’ve had a message from a ward at the Tameside and Glossop Hospital in
England to say they have ordered yellow lids already to take part in this
A post about the idea on the group’s Facebook page has been
shared more than 2000 times and has been seen by almost 150,000 people.
You can follow updates from the group on Twitter @NhsHydr8 or #CheckYourJugs #PutALidOnIt, or on Facebook at NHSHydr8.