Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Call for protected meal times in hospitals

  • Comment
Many older people are still going hungry in hospital without protected mealtimes, according to the charity Age Concern.

As part of research for its Hungry to be Heard campaign, the charity has found that 43 per cent of hospital trusts are yet to introduced protected mealtimes and one in three have not introduced the red-tray system to help identify those who need assistance.

The findings also showed that only two in every 10 trusts have rolled out volunteer schemes to help out with mealtimes despite it proven effectiveness in helping to reduce the numbers of malnourished older people in hospital.

Age Concern's campaign calls for older peoples' mealtimes to be 'protected' from non-urgent activity like ward rounds and routine tests.

This would ensure patients can eat without interruptions after previous research found six in 10 people were at risk of becoming malnourished in hospital.

Patrick South, head of public affairs at Age Concern said: 'Tackling malnutrition should be a top priority for all NHS trusts, yet our evidence shows unacceptable inconsistencies across the country.

'It's shocking that many older people still find themselves trapped within a 'postcode lottery of commitment' to improve nutritional standards on hospital wards'.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.