Age Concern 2006 to date

Age Concern launched their “Hungry to be Heard” campaign in 2006, calling for action from the Department of Health, the Healthcare Commission and the NHS to end the scandal of malnutrition in hospital. They highlighted the on-going problem, despite the previous attempts to address these problems, such as the Better Hospital Food Programme and the Core Standards relating to nutrition issued by the Department of Health. The report gives some graphic examples of the problems patients had encountered in hospital and sets out seven steps to end malnutrition in hospitals. In addition to the main report, they produced a number of useful resources to help patients and staff to implement their recommendations and address the problem.

“Hungry to be Heard. The scandal of malnourished older people in hospital.”

As part of the original campaign, Age UK worked with the RCN to  produce some information leaflets:

“Spotting the signs of malnutrition”
“Helping an older patient to eat”
and a card for patients to fill in in advance: “Nutrition on admission”

Age UK

(formerly Age Concern & Help the Aged)
2010 to date

Age UK issued a further report “Still Hungry to be Heard. The scandal of people in later life becoming malnourished in hospital” in response to on-going concerns that malnutrition in hospitals continued to be a significant problem for older people. This report calls for all wards to implement the seven steps recommended in the 2006 report, for compulsory recording of screening for the risk of malnutrition on admission to hospital and for the Care Quality Commission to undertake a comprehensive review of hospital mealtimes.

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Age UK 2012 to date

Age UK continues to campaign for the end of malnutrition in hospitals and is currently calling for people to email Andrew Lansley, Secretary of state for Health to call on him to require hospitals to publish malnutrition data in a form the public can understand.

Age UK is one of BAPEN’s partners supporting the Malnutrition Task Force.

the voice of carers
2012 to date

Carers UK in collaboration with Nutricia launched their report “Malnutrition and caring. The hidden cost for families”.

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This report is part of their “Care about nutrition, care with nutrition campaign”. This campaign aims to help carers with information and support on the importance and benefits of good nutritional care.

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The Caroline Walker Trust

The Caroline Walker Trust (CWT) - Improving public health through good food

Caroline Walker Trust logo


“Eating well for older people with dementia. A good practice guide for residential and nursing homes and others involved in caring for older people with dementia. Report of an expert working group.” Voices (Voluntary Organisations involved in Caring in the Elderly Sector).


“Eating well for older people”. These guidelines support the nutritional care of older people in residential and community care.


“Eating well for older people and older people with dementia: Practical Guide.” Helen Crawley and Erica Hocking. This report includes a report and materials that can be used by those caring for older people to support them to eat well.

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Centre for Housing Support 2009 The Good Practice Guide (Issue No. 9) “Addressing Malnutrition” published with support from the Group on Nutrition in Sheltered Housing. This guide includes information on screening for malnutrition, the impact of malnutrition and working with others to address malnutrition.

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The Patients Association 2011 to date

The Patients Association conducted a survey on malnutrition in the community and in hospitals and published a report of the findings “Malnutrition in the community and hospital setting”. The results of the survey were presented at the BAPEN annual conference in Harrogate in November 2011. The report calls for action from the Department of Health, from GPs and Local Authorities and form the Public Health Director to ensure that there is adequate information about malnutrition available, that nutritional screening is mandatory in all care settings, that the resources are available for good nutritional care and that this care covers the whole “malnutrition journey” across different care settings.

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The Patients Association has also produced a leaflet “Malnutrition – how to spot the signs and what to expect from treatment” to send to all GP surgeries in the UK.

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Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) 2009 - 2012

SCIE is a charity that improves the lives of people who use care services by sharing knowledge about what works. It has published guidance on eating and nutritional care, focussing particularly on older people. Its guidance includes:

Nutritional care and older people – an at a glance summary published in March 2009 as part of the Nutrition Action Plan

Eating and nutritional care in practice – a Dignity in Care factsheet published in June 2010, with more detailed information also available on the website

Dementia Gateway: eating well for people with dementia – a web resource published in November 2009

Nutritional care for older people – a Social Care TV video published in May 2012 and aimed at commissioners, managers, front-line care workers and carers.

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The alliance for better food and farming
2004 to date Sustain launched their Pilot Hospital Food Project in January 2004. This was a 2 year project with four London Hospitals to increase the proportion of locally produced nutritious food served. This was extended in 2006 and became the Good Food on the Public Plate (GFPP) project, reflecting the fact that the project now includes all public sector organisations.

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Sustain is also running a “Good Food for Our Money” campaign, calling on the government to introduce legally-binding hospital food standards. They have also produced reports “A Decade of Hospital Food Failure” and  “Yet more hospital food failure” that give a good overview of the initiatives and their costs over the last decade.

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