The Patients Association Malnutrition Checklist helps patients and staff working in health and social care identify the potential risk of undernutrition in adults.   

It is estimated that over 1.1 million people over 65 living in their own homes in the UK are currently undernourished, underweight or are not receiving appropriate nutrition to support and maintain their health and wellbeing. 

The Patients Association Nutrition Checklist is a paper-based tool to identify potential risk of malnutrition (as undernutrition) and offers guidance, advice and signposting on next steps. There are two versions available – the ‘patient version’, designed for patients to complete themselves, and the ‘staff version’, for completion by volunteers, carers and professionals with a person. Both versions consist of two key parts:

  • Section A - four key questions to focus discussions around weight, unintentional weight loss and loss of appetite. Because research has validated these specific questions against 'MUST' (Murphy et al, 2019), the wording of these questions must remain unchanged
  • Section B (B-D on the ‘patient version’) - to be used by/with people identified as likely to be at risk of malnutrition from using Section A. It includes additional questions to focus on the reasons for risk of malnutrition, and provides a framework for giving basic advice and signposting to services that can provide support. It has space to record any specific advice given, recommendations made, and any follow up plans. However, please note that at the current time, many local organisations are not able to run (e.g. lunch clubs, day centres) due to COVID-19. It is recommended to check with local organisations including local council and volunteer organisations for needs and advice for social support.

Watch a video about the new checklist

An animated video about the Patients Association Nutrition Checklist was developed for use in GP surgeries. The film was developed to explain the possibility of being undernourished or underweight, to introduce the Patients Association Nutrition Checklist and to give information about what actions to take.


Explanatory guide in light of COVID-19: Social distancing and social isolation could impact a person’s access to the wide variety of foods needed to keep healthy and may make them want to eat less.

Full report: download our overview report on the nutrition checklist here.

Patient version: to complete the Patients Association Nutrition Checklist yourself, or for a family member or friend, click here.

Staff version: if you work in health or social care, please read our guide on using the checklist here. The checklist for staff is available in two versions: section A and section B:

You can also read our report following the GP pilots here.

Please note: We are keen to hear from patients and health care professionals who are using our checklist, and would like to hear your feedback about the impact it has had on your nutrition, or the patients you are caring for. Please keep us posted with feedback by emailing [email protected]