Patient Association report into malnutrition
Published on 22 August 2011 04:30 PM
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK said:
'Every patient should be properly fed and treated with dignity whether in hospital or in the community. These are the essential elements of care. It is equally important that people at risk of malnutrition living in the community are identified early and supported. The Patient's Association's report highlights the many missed opportunities to intervene when someone is under-weight or otherwise malnourished, not just in hospital but when, for example, a person sees their GP.
'The report further highlights the need to improve awareness of malnutrition in older people. It is important to challenge assumptions such as saying people simply have a reduced appetite in later life.
'Age UK's Hungry to be Heard campaign called last year for the CQC to undertake a comprehensive review of hospital mealtimes. The subsequent spot checks are a positive step in highlighting the issues in this area. However, even though we know that hospital staff's recognition of the issue is high, much more still needs to be done to ensure that words are transferring into action on wards.
'The Hungry to be Heard campaign wants hospitals data on malnutrition rates to be published and monitored in a consistent way and for hospital wards to effectively implement Age UK's seven recommended steps*. Measures to ensure that older patients' treatment is consistent from hospital to hospital and ward to ward must also be taken, ensuring that all staff treat all patients appropriately at all times.'
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Notes to editors
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