It all started with one mum, (she went on to form the closed Facebook group “Blended Diet UK”) and a phone call that revealed she was using blended food, and would it be a problem when they next came to stay at Little Bridge House. This wasn’t totally new to me as I had cared for a teenager 10yrs previously at Little Bridge House who had a blended diet. It wasn’t a problem then so I was sure it wouldn’t be this time. (I have worked at Little Bridge House, Children’s Hospice Southwest 17yrs) From the Facebook group I could tell that support was limited for families in other areas in the country, as professionals struggled with how to support something, that for any other member of a family was normal – eating food. For the first time ever I wrote an article! Eventually it was published and I could start to get the message out there that, in certain environments at least, we can support the use of food for enteral feeding. What I didn’t realise was just how many professionals would get in touch for help and information. That year at a meeting with Together for Short Lives, Professor Jane Coad presented on Blended Diet and introduced me to the conference, and to Dr Susie Lapwood from Helen House Hospice. We started to share information and it was decided to collate the information we had and to work with Dieticians. The ultimate aim was to have a page hosted by the Together for Short Lives website.
At Little Bridge House we support 25-30 children who have at least one meal a day which is blended food, and we hope to be involved in some research being put together by another UK Children’s Hospice later this year. In Wales they have already started a small study and in some Children’s Hospitals they are already writing policies and actively supporting families. There have been some very positive moves in the last 3 years.