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NHS England: Improve nutrition, reduce hospital stays

NHS England: Improve nutrition, reduce hospital stays

NHS England has published new guidance for commissioners on nutrition and hydration, to reduce hospital admissions and length of stay
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NHS England has published new guidance for commissioners on nutrition and hydration, to reduce hospital admissions and length of stay.

Around one in three patients admitted to hospital or who are in care homes are malnourished or at risk of becoming so.

Poor nutrition and hydration harms patients’ health but “can also reduce their ability to recover and leads to increased admissions to hospitals and care homes”, the report Commissioning Excellent Nutrition and Hydration 2015 – 2018 stated.

They suggested that by 2018 commissioners establish a nutrition and hydration group with membership that includes representatives from health and social care and agree a work plan, including systems that support the integration of nutritional and hydration care across pathways.

To ensure this runs smoothly, identify effective communication processes between the different parts of the health economy and develop management structures to ensure high standards of nutrition and hydration care, oral nutritional supplements, enteral tube feeding provision or intravenous support, in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance.

In response to the report, Dianne Jeffrey, chair of the malnutrition task force and chairman of Age UK said: "Getting this right for the millions of people at risk of malnutrition and dehydration or who need help with eating and drinking is vital. After all it’s only what we would want for ourselves or a loved one."

See the full guidance here

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