It is estimated that there are more than three million people in the UK who are malnourished or at risk of malnourishment.

The Patients Association has carried out a review of policy, practice and patient views in relation to nutrition, malnutrition and the hospital discharge process and established a set of recommendations to help reduce the incidence of malnutrition.

This paper identifies a gap between policy and practice and the need to raise awareness of the issues with professionals, patients and relatives.

The aims of the project were:

  • To develop a nutrition checklist for possible use by patients/relatives and professionals/voluntary sector to help identify need for nutritional help and provide some pointers for action
  • To undertake a small pilot with patients, relatives and professionals working in the sector to gain their feedback on whether the checklist would be a useful tool; and if so how, where and with what modifications
  • To produce a report and recommendations on next steps.

The outcomes were:

  • A nutrition checklist for patients and staff that has been tested with both in a number of different settings
  • A checklist which can be used in conjunction with /as part of the tool set to be developed by the Malnutrition Consensus Panel.

We're currently testing an updated version of the checklist in general practices in Buckinghamshire and Suffolk. The checklist has been updated in collaboration with the Wessex Academic Health Science Network and Bournemouth University and piloted with a domiciliary care provider, Dorset Fire Service and Age UK. These will all be evaluated, and a report of findings and recommendations about the final checklist and it's uses, together with in implementation plan will be available later this year. 

For further information about obtaining the checklist and involvement in the pilots please contact Heather Eardley, Head of Projects and Partnerships on [email protected]  or 07872 633 189.