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

1 in 3 patients face malnutrition risk, say researchers


One in three patients of all ages admitted to hospital and care homes is at risk of malnutrition, according to research by the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN).

The BAPEN’s winter nutrition screening week, held in January, involved 10,000 hospital patients, 900 residents recently admitted into care and more than 100 patients in mental health units.

Overall malnutrition prevalence on hospital admission was 34 per cent, up from 28 per cent in a survey carried out in the autumn.

Project lead Christine Russell said: “The increase recorded in hospital admissions during this winter may be due to a higher proportion of patients from more vulnerable groups admitted during this period, which is to be expected at this time of year.”


Readers' comments (5)


    I think we should provide regional menus,for instance if you are from Lancashire .why not give me a lovely hot pot or cottage pie.

    If i am from Scotland lets have Haggis Neeps and Tatties. This is serious thinking someone please go with the flow. Then the food will be eaten with relish and not wasted. How simple can it be.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • My mother inlaw was admitted to hospital with dehydration due to dysphagia.
    She was also deaf and blind and unable to feed herself or add the thickning powder to her liquids. On several occasions when we visited she had cold food and drink piling up on her table from the morning,
    we decided then for the relatives to take it in turn to visit twice a day to feed her ourselves. There was more than one occasion when we arrived that we were told she had been fed but when we insisted on going to see for ourselves we found her sealed food still sitting unopened on the table.Although she spoke fluid english whic was a second language the staff were unable to comunicate with her,
    Very often any refusal for food was due to the fact that she was sitting in a wet or soiled bed or because she needed the toilet,
    In her care home she was regularlytoileted before meals and was never incontinent however due to no regular toileting being offered she was forced to become incontinent as she was becoming to weak to call out and the bell was never put within her hands reach.
    Her wieght plummeted which did not seem to worry the charts and fluid charts remained unfilled.
    she was discharged back to her care home in an emaciated and dehydrated state regardless of our protests and was re-admitted 24hrs later.
    The poor state of her care continued until the family were staying as long as the staff would allow us to stay on the ward which is because I let them know I was a senior nurse and I was not impressed with their neglect about which I had made a complaint.
    Without her family she would have starved to death and died much sooner.
    She died on her second admission.
    The day before we were told she was refusing all drinks and yet when I asked for chocolate ensure her favourite flavour I patiently persivered and she drank 500mls.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • There seems to be a lot of discussion in the press about all the problems in hospitals and healthcare but why do doctors and nurses who are supposed to qualifed to look after patients fail to notice all these problems. What is the point of treating anybody if they lack observation skills and why is nothing done to provide proper care? Surely these are cases of professional negligence and against ethico-legal codes of practice of the profesisons.
    Even though healthcare is free at the point of delivery the services are being funded by tax payers. But no matter who funds it, service offered to the public should be safe and of the highest standards for all.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Sandra Joyce Odell -Powell | 9-Nov-2010 3:30 pm

    quite right. people should be given the dishes they are used to in their part of the country. it is only then that we may be able to stimulate the appetite and nourish patients adequately.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Looks like admission to a UK hospital is a death sentence for the elderly. Responsible - poor management, overcrowding, poor nutrition, poorly trained and uncaring nurses, dieticians and doctors who lack observational skills and fail to understand basic rules of nutrition, hygiene, psychology and interpersonal relations, as well making medical, surgical and drug errors.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this 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.

Related Jobs