A new patient pantry has been opened on A900, thanks to the generosity of the Ian Ritchie Foundation.

There are many young patients on A900 who need to be admitted for management of cystic fibrosis or inflammatory bowel disease. Nutrition is vitally important for this group of patients and is often integral to their treatment. Some of these young people are in hospital for two weeks every two to three months and having access to foods that they are familiar with and enjoy eating makes it much easier to meet their nutritional needs.

'The Pantry' came about following a patient survey conducted by the CF dietitians. Patients' feedback was that they would like a microwave to heat ready meals and greater flexibility to have hot drinks and snacks. One of the patients commented "It would reduce feelings of being cut off from normal routines and would allow more flexibility of eating times, as we're sometimes not very awake/ hungry at meal times."

Julie Al-Siaidi, cystic fibrosis dietitian, said: "Many people with cystic fibrosis have unusually high energy requirements and we hope having greater access to meals and snacks will help meet their needs. The pantry will also allow the patients with inflammatory bowel disease, who are often on very restricted diets to access a wider range of foods at times to suit them, which the hospital catering service is not always able to provide.

Sarah Beech, ward sister for A900 said: "The Ian Ritchie Foundation has been very generous in funding the pantry as they want to make life easier for cystic fibrosis patients in hospital."

Caroline Ritchie, Ian's sister, said: "The Ian Ritchie Foundation is thoroughly delighted to be a part of this great project. We work hard raising vital funds to support CF patients under the care of the Bristol Royal infirmary and recognise what a crucial role diet and nutrition plays in managing the condition. Working closely with ward sister Sarah Beech, we have been able to create a wonderful space in which patients can now safely store and prepare their foods and drinks. With the patients in mind, we wanted the pantry to provide a homely feel, rather than a clinical one. We would like to say thank you to Sarah, Julie & Michala Muashindange for supporting this project, and the public who continue to support us and without whom we would be able to fund such facilities in memory of our own cystic fibrosis fighter, Ian Ritchie."

(Text from http://www.uhbristol.nhs.uk/news/new-patient-pantry-opened-thanks-to-local-charity/)