AROUND 3,000 people affected by addiction in west Wales will benefit from a funded project on nutrition and hydration.

Hywel Dda University Health Board’s health improvement nutrition and dietetic team will be training around 65 staff at Dyfed Drug and Alcohol Service (DDAS) to then provide their service users with support towards having a healthier diet.

The service supports people in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire who are affected by addiction.

The health board will be carrying out this work with the employment of two new part-time staff members who will train the DDAS staff over the next year until the end of the programme in September 2024.

More than £44,000 has been given by NHS Charities Together which works with NS charities across the UK including Hywel Dda Health Charities – the official charity of the health board.

Laura Thomas, Hywel Dda’s clinical lead health improvement dietitian and project lead, said: “People with substance use disorders are at greater risk of inadequate nutrition and hydration due to eating too little or eating foods of low nutritional value. This has serious implications for their health long-term.

“The aim of the programme is to build and enhance the knowledge of DDAS’s key workers around nutrition and hydration. It will give them the skills they need to support service users to improve their eating habits and their health.”

Steffan Warren, team leader at DDAS, said: “We are the first point of contact for any adult over the age of 18 with a drug or alcohol problem in the area.

“The programme will enable DDAS staff to fully benefit from the expertise of the health board’s nutrition and dietetics team, giving us the opportunity to develop nutrition champions who can signpost service users to sources of support and create helpful resources.

“We are hoping to support at least 3,000 service users.”