The British Specialist Nutrition Association (BSNA) has published Forgotten not Fixed: A Blueprint to Tackle the Increasing Burden of Malnutrition in England. BAPEN welcomes the attention the report shines on malnutrition, which continues to be overlooked as a problem in secondary care.

The report, based on research commissioned by BSNA, finds that malnutrition continues to be a significant problem. Over three million people in the UK are estimated to be either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, while the number of deaths where malnutrition was identified as an underlying or contributory factor has increased by more than 30% from 2007 to 2016.

Among its recommendations, the report calls for the full implementation and uptake of NICE Clinical Guideline 32 on Nutrition and Support in Adults (CG32) and the NICE Quality Standard 24. It also calls for the introduction of incentives, such as a Quality and Outcomes Framework indicator, to transform how malnutrition is identified, recorded and managed.

Commenting on the report, Dr Simon Gabe, BAPEN President said:

“The recognition and management of malnutrition has been vastly improved in recent years. This can primarily be put down to the increased use of screening tools such as our Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (‘MUST’) and the publication of NICE Clinical Guideline 32 and Nice Quality Standard 24 in the area.

However, there is still significant room for improvement. In particular, we need to reduce the variation in the reporting of malnutrition at discharge, in order to better understand the whole picture and improve the management of malnutrition.

BAPEN believes there is a need for everybody to work together to achieve this and hopes that use of the ‘MUST’ tool will become more consistent, something which was called for in the recent All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger report ‘Hidden Hunger and Malnutrition in the Elderly’.

BAPEN also hopes to see more registrations to use our web-based Nutritional Care Tool, which enables organisations to monitor their nutritional screening, measure the effectiveness of the nutritional care they provide, and assess patient experience within their organisation.

This week is Nutrition and Hydration Week, and is also one of four annual Nutritional Care Tool Data Collection Weeks. BAPEN is this week urging all healthcare professionals to participate in data collection, to help us to continue recent improvements in reporting of malnutrition.”

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