‘What Jane has achieved with Nourish Drinks is incredible; they are therapeutic on so many levels’

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‘What Jane has achieved with Nourish Drinks is incredible; they are therapeutic on so many levels’

By Andrea Childs

November 04, 2019

Cancer, Chewing difficulties, dementia, High energy

A respected GP, former hospice medical director and physician to Westminster Cathedral – and a huge supporter of Nourish by Jane Clarke. There’s not much Dr Martin Scurr hasn’t squeezed into his 30-year career, including a role as medical adviser on the TV show Doc Martin…

‘I’ve been referring patients to Jane for 30 years because of her expertise and genuine care for individuals. I remember the first time I saw her – she had very red hair then – and she told me she was a consulting dietitian. The only dietitians I’d heard of at the time were working within the NHS but, like me, Jane had decided to go into private practice to be able to give more time and a responsive approach to patients. My son has Type 1 diabetes and his mother and I had masterminded his diet on our own. I realised there were many people who needed similar support, and Jane could offer a level of expertise that wasn’t readily available.’

‘Jane is a cordon-bleu trained cook and that, alongside her scientific training, is what makes her different. Nutritionists have contacted me over the years and told me about the tablets and supplements they can give to my patients, but Jane’s approach always begins with real food and real nourishment. Sadly, most hospitals don’t even have their own kitchens, so a dietitian can’t talk to the chef about what food a certain patient needs. Instead, the easy answer is to offer a drink supplement and ask if they want Chocolate or Strawberry flavour – and they’re not even made with real chocolate or real strawberries!’

‘When I founded the hospice at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth, we based our food ethos on Jane’s approach to nourishment. From the start, we got a dietitian on board to help ensure that the residents had the best possible meals, tailored to suit them. It’s not just people receiving palliative care who need support with eating. You might have had major surgery, be getting over pneumonia, or depression may have robbed you of your appetite. There are lots of circumstances where it’s difficult to get the nutrition you need, and that puts you at risk of frailty, relapse or a slow recovery.’

‘What Jane has achieved with Nourish Drinks is incredible; they are therapeutic on so many levels. She has used real ingredients that provide genuine benefits and taste delicious. The nurturing she has put into each Nourish Drink is as important as the vitamins and calories it contains – it’s not just about ticking boxes of here’s some calories, here’s some carbs. The difference between Nourish Drinks and others is like buying the best quality chocolate versus a cheap bar at the airport. The design of the product, the expertise and, ultimately, the love and integrity that have gone into it, can’t help but be communicated. There’s a dignity to the experience, whether you sip one yourself or you’re giving it to a family member.’

‘My career has been hugely varied – and hugely rewarding. I graduated from Westminster Medical School in 1973, then worked in the NHS as a junior hospital doctor before becoming a general practitioner in 1977. I wanted to invent my own wheel; I didn’t want to do six-minute consultations, I wanted to speak to my patients for 15 minutes. And it seemed private practice was the only way to be able to do that. When I established mine, I lived in the surgery for a while as I couldn’t afford to pay the rent on a separate flat. I’ve taught medical students, lectured all over the world, and was even appointed Papal Doctor for the visit of the Pope in 1982. Today, I work part time, write a regular column for the Daily Mail, and I’m the Medical Adviser on the TV show Doc Martin, which has 10 million viewers!’

‘The first Doc Martin writer, Dominic Minghella, said to me, ‘I don’t know anything about general practice; tell me all about it’. We met at a Café Rouge, where I told him lots of funny stories from my life that he jotted down in an exercise book. We touch on serious topics, too, of course. We haven’t dealt with undernourishment yet but maybe that’s one for the next series.’

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