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Chairman and Editor: T Sizer.

Summary

The BAPEN Working Party for Standards for Nutritional Support has prepared this document to address the following issues:

  • Although it has long been known that people who are ill are often malnourished, the condition frequently goes unrecognised and untreated because formal assessment of nutritional status is not a routine procedure in hospitals.
  • There is a general lack of awareness of the problems of malnutrition among health care professionals and managers of health services.
  • In many hospitals standards for nutritional support either do not exist or are not regularly applied.

Included in this document are:

  • Policy Standards for the Organisation and Provision of Nutritional Support. (This includes hospital catering as well as artificial nutritional support).
  • A selection of 'Practice Standards' together with supporting protocols or procedures for the application of nutritional support.

The need for appropriate education of health care professionals, carers and patients, is addressed in several of the Standards and Protocols given as examples.

Recommendations

It is important that the nutritional status of patients is assessed and adequate nourishment provided in the safest and most effective way.

To ensure that these activities are appropriately carried out, standards should be set and monitored.

The working party's recommendations are therefore:

  • that the purchasers of health care should insist on the adoption of Standards for the Organisation and Provision of Nutritional Support.
  • that the Standards used should be based on those in this document, adapted to suit local needs.
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