BAPEN is pleased to announce that the ‘MUST’ Explanatory Booklet and the ‘MUST’ tool and charts are now available in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Since its launch by BAPEN in 2003 ‘MUST’ (‘Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool’) has become the most commonly used nutritional screening tool in all care settings across the UK  and is  also being used more and more in other countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

‘MUST’ is a simple 5 step screening tool designed to identify adults who are underweight and at risk of malnutrition, as well as those who are obese.  Prior to launch the tool underwent rigorous evaluation in hospital and community settings and was found to be quick and easy to use and reliable. ‘MUST’ is reviewed annually and a range of new charts to calculate body mass index and recent weight loss recently developed have been translated in all 5 languages.‘

Key Facts and Figures

  • Malnutrition, used here to mean under-nutrition, affects at least 3 million people in the UK and around 33 million across Europe, detrimentally affecting their health, wellbeing, and ability to work.
  • The estimated annual cost associated with malnutrition in Europe is around €170 billion (at least £13 billion per annum in UK) and expenditure is likely to rise in future years.
  • Malnutrition is often under-recognised and therefore under-treated. It is both a cause and a consequence of disease, delays recovery, increases visits to GP and increases the frequency and length of hospital stay.
  • Around 1 in 3 adults admitted to hospitals, more than 1 in 3 residents recently admitted to care homes and over 10% people attending GP surgery in the UK are at risk of malnutrition.
  • Malnutrition affects people of all ages although older people are particularly vulnerable.
  • 'MUST' can detect over-nutrition (overweight and obesity) as well as undernutrition and is linked to a flexible care plan, which varies according to healthcare setting, patient group, and local resources.
  • 'MUST' is valid, reliable, and easy to use, and, with cautious interpretation, can be applied to all adult patients, even those who cannot have their weight or height measured, who have fluid disturbances, amputations, plaster casts, or who are pregnant and lactating.
  • ‘MUST’ has been made user friendly through extensive field testing by a wide range of professionals in different health care settings.
  • ‘MUST’ promotes multidisciplinary care and responsibility, with consequent improvements in clinical outcome.
  • ‘MUST’ could be appropriately used to implement the nutritional screening that is recommended or required by key initiatives in the UK, such as NICE, Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Food, Fluid and Nutritional Care in Hospitals (Scotland), All Wales Nutrition and Catering Standards for Food and Fluid for hospital patients and  Food and Nutritional Care in Hospitals Guide (ROI).
  • ‘MUST’ could be used to implement nutritional screening that is recommended by European organisations such as  Council of Europe, ESPEN
  • 'MUST' would be most effective if deployed in a healthcare system that prioritised nutritional strategies, training, and implementation.

Translations of the 'Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool' materials are available to view and download in PDF format from the BAPEN website Printed copies in English are also available to purchase from the BAPEN office or online. All enquiries/requests to BAPEN Office, Seven Elms, Dark Lane, Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcestershire, B96 6HB Tel: 01527 457850 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BAPEN and its Standing Committee the Malnutrition Action Group (MAG) acknowledges the support of organisations, including: the British Dietetic Association (BDA), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Registered Nursing Home Association RNHA) in the support and dissemination of 'MUST'.

For more information, interviews and comment:
Philippa Cahill 0207 492 1973 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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