How much does malnutrition cost the UK?

In November 2015, a new report published by the National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR Southampton BRC) and the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN), estimated that the cost of malnutrition in both adults and children in England in 2011-12 was £19.6 billion and is only set to increase with an aging population and the rising cost of health and social care. This figure represents almost a 50% increase in estimated costs compared with the £13 billion stated in the 2007 report.

In primary care, disease related malnutrition results in 

  • Increased dependency
  • Increased GP visits
  • Increased prescription costs
  • Increased referrals to hospital
  • Increased admissions to care homes

In secondary care, disease related malnutrition results in increased costs due to:

  • Increased complications such as wound  infections, chest infections, pressure ulcers
  • Increased length of hospital stay
  • Increased numbers of patients who are readmitted to hospital
  • Increased numbers of deaths

What is the scale of malnutrition in the UK?

How is malnutrition prevented and treated?