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Warning over hospital nutrition standards

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Doctors have warned that malnutrition is still common in NHS hospitals – and that the problem has increased by 85% over the past 10 years.

Writing in the BMJ, Mike Lean, professor of human nutrition at the University of Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Martin Wiseman, visiting professor at the University of Southampton, said the condition was undiagnosed in 70% of patients.

Authors recommend that health professionals use the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition’s malnutrition universal screening tool.

They added that standards laid down by NICE in 2006 that all patients in hospital should be screened and monitored for malnutrition are ‘weakly policed’.

BMJ (2008) 336:290

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