Hospital checks to ensure patients are properly fed
Published on 04 March 2013 11:30 AM
The Department of Health has revealed there will be increased measures to cut down on the number of starving and malnourished patients in hospitals in England and Wales.
Plans to target the problems were revealed after it emerged that an appalling 1,166 people died partly from malnutrition in NHS hospitals over the last 4 years.
The Department of Health said it is 'unacceptable' for patients to go hungry and there will be an increase of surprise inspections to help tackle the issue.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Express highlighted how Office for National Statistics figures show that there are 3 patients with dehydration mentioned on their death certificate for every patient who dies from malnutrition.
The findings revealed that in 2011 there were 43 patients who died from starvation and 291 who died in a state of severe malnutrition.
The amount of patients leaving hospital suffering from malnutrition also increased to 5,558.
'Malnourishment is completely unacceptable' - Department of Health
Dianne Jeffrey, chairwoman of Malnutrition Task Force, told the Sunday Express: 'Too many are paying the price with their lives while being deprived of the basic right to good nutrition, hydration and support.'
A Department of Health spokeswoman stressed that everyone in hospital should expect to be looked after properly and malnourishment is completely unacceptable.
She explained that the Care Quality Commission will complete more inspections, with its findings from investigations set to be published soon.
'To help make sure patients get the right care - and to root out bad practice - the Care Quality Commission has increased the number of unannounced inspections that it undertakes, and soon it will publish its findings from a series of inspections looking specifically at dignity and nutrition,' she added.
'We are also investing £100 million on IT so nurses can spend more time with patients, not paperwork. That means nursing rounds where senior nurses will have more time to check that patients are comfortable, are helped to eat and drink, and are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.'
Copyright Press Association 2013