Cambridge plays host to the Optimal Nutritional Care for All Annual Conference November 2019

The Optimal Nutritional Care for All (ONCA) campaign is a multi-stakeholder initiative to encourage greater screening for disease-related malnutrition/undernutrition and nutritional care implementation across Europe. It was launched in 2014 and is now in its’ fifth year. The ONCA campaign supports national professional societies, associations and patient groups in public health and health care to implement nutritional risk screening and optimal nutritional care in their country.

This year the annual Optimal Nutritional Care for All conference, entitled ‘Co-creating the Patient Pathway’, was hosted in Cambridge on November 19th and 20th, with keynote speakers from the policy and political arena including Lord Andrew Lansley, former Secretary of State for Health. The conference allowed a unique opportunity for professionals and patients from 18 different European countries to come together at one conference. Sharing best practice is crucial to help us continue to improve the nutritional care that is provided locally, nationally and internationally and break down barriers to equity in care.

“Malnutrition is a major cause of poor outcomes for patients, especially amongst older patients. NICE has identified that screening for nutritional status and delivering a resulting care plan as being amongst the most cost-effective interventions for the NHS. It is especially needed in the absence of active social care support for many older people. At this well-timed Conference, I am adding my voice to those calling for NHS England further to build on their commissioning guidance by creating a new Clinical Director post, to promote the take up of guidance and to improve outcomes for patients in this critical respect.” Right Honourable Lord Lansley CBE

“With the new and evolving NHS and social care structure here in the UK, never before has there been a real opportunity to truly integrate nutrition into all care settings and pathways. This conference has given us the opportunity to share and learn from other countries but more importantly hear directly from patients about what their needs are, where the gaps are and how we can work together to try and achieve a fairer access to timely nutritional care.” Dr Trevor Smith, President of the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN).

“Considering that the conference is co-hosted by UK patient organisations and key professional societies at such a politically challenging time, this is a clear and strong sign of their enduring commitment to advance nutritional care in the UK and work together with their colleagues across European health communities.” Frank De Man, Optimal Nutritional Care for All (ONCA) https://european-nutrition.org/

“As the patient associations representing those dependent on home artificial nutrition, due to intestinal failure and diseased related malnutrition, are uniting around the world, it’s a timely occasion to attend this ONCA conference. PINNT, a support and advocacy group for those on home artificial nutrition in the UK, also as a core group of BAPEN, is keen to ensure the needs of those on long-term artificial nutrition are heard and met. Homecare is a growing area and one that needs equal prominence along the patient pathway.” Carolyn Wheatley, Chair PINNT www.pinnt.com

“The British Dietetic Association have been pleased to support this important conference, bringing together some of the best minds from across Europe to help us tackle this difficult issue. Nobody should have to suffer from disease related malnutrition, be they in the community or in an acute hospital. Good nutrition is the foundation of good health and this needs to be better recognised in our health and care sectors, with greater support from government to ensure everyone can access good nutritional care.” Caroline Bovey BEM, Chair, British Dietetic Association www.bda.uk.com

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