Guidance to help hospital staff improve standards of nutrition and hydration care, particularly among older patients, has been published.
It has been developed by the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and the Malnutrition Task Force, an independent group of cross-sector experts.
They said the guidelines – titled Preventing Malnutrition in Later Life: Best Practice Principles & Implementation Guide – outlined how to “implement excellent nutritional care” and was intended to provide an easy to use framework of resources and tools for hospital staff.
Task force chair Dianne Jeffrey said: “We have drawn together principles of best practice and examples of what already works well in countering malnutrition as well as identified barriers.
“[The guide] is designed to help you take action and make the changes needed to improve nutrition and hydration care for your patients.”
Dr Mike Stroud, chair of BAPEN’s quality group and co-chair of the task force, said: “This guide is an important step forward as it outlines ‘how’ hospitals can actually deliver improved nutritional care and comply with guidelines.
“We should not underestimate the complexity involved in delivering good nutritional care across hospital systems given the number of processes, health care professionals and departments involved.,” he added.
Similar guidance was also published this month by the task force focusing on community settings. It was titled Prevention and Early Intervention of Malnutrition in Later Life and was developed in combination with the British Dietetic Association.