Four new factsheets have been published in conjunction with the RCN, the British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and other stakeholders. The factsheets recommend that all patients should have access to food and drink 24 hours a day and that every patient has an individual nutritional care plan.
They support 10 key characteristics for good nutritional care in hospitals outlined by the Council of Europe Alliance (UK) in October 2007. Three factsheets have already been published and a further three will be available in April 2009.
Dr Peter Carter, RCN general secretary, said: ‘These Factsheets are not just a guide to what we should be providing to patients, they are fundamental to the delivery of quality nutritional care by healthcare staff on a daily basis. By embedding these factsheets in the delivery of healthcare to patients, staff will have the practical know-how on promoting good nutritional care.
‘A key focus in the factsheets is malnutrition and how to identify and assess those who are malnourished or at risk.'
The RCN says that 28% of adult patients are at risk of malnutrition.