The nutrition champions will be NHS employees from a variety of clinical and managerial backgrounds, who will be appointed for two years to support the Scottish Government’s new Food, Fluid and Nutrition Programme.
Ministers have also announced that £1.08m will be made available to allow NHS boards to appoint champions.
Additionally, a national programme board has been established to develop the programme, chaired by the chief nursing officer for Scotland.
The programme will include developing and distributing information on standards for nutrient and food provision in hospitals and guidance on meeting the standards. A nutrition monitoring tool will initially be tested for three months in Forth Valley, Highland and Grampian, and then expanded to all boards in October.
Jeanette Morrison, programme manager for the Improving Nutritional Care Programme at NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, said: ‘The nutrition champions will be key to supporting NHS boards to improve nutritional care for patients, and they will work closely with charge nurses and other staff to improve the nutritional care for patients whilst in hospital.’
In 2005-2006 it was recommended that the quality of nutritional care in Scotland’s hospital should be improved.