The survey took place across the month of October for the first time in 2019 and will run again in October 2020.

The purpose of the survey was to gain an understanding of the prevalence of malnutrition according to the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (‘MUST’), and the use of nutritional care across England, in all settings. This is the largest national survey BAPEN has undertaken since 2011, and the first conducted entirely online. It is also the first to include community settings, covering those in social care and in their own or family homes and the first to combine screening for malnutrition with surveying nutritional care interventions.

The survey recorded a high prevalence of malnutrition (42%), higher than previous national surveys (35% in care homes; 29% in hospitals).

Dr Rebecca Stratton, Chair of the Malnutrition Action Group, commented, "We developed the online portal to make it easier for people to report data and that makes it more accessible to more people in more settings. It is interesting to see the results, with this high reported prevalence that is obviously a cause for concern. We are keen to see how this tracks in 2020, in the midst of a difficult year in all settings. We are taking learnings from the 2019 survey into our new survey which is launching soon and I'm personally really keen that our new 2020 survey will cover all of the home nations to give us a more comprehensive picture."

Dr Trevor Smith, co-author of the report and President of BAPEN, said, "The importance of screening, all year round, cannot be overstated, but it is also hugely important to have these concerted efforts to all screen together. This report is hugely valuable, providing a unique snapshot of malnutrition risk and nutritional care at a single point in time. I was thrilled so many people responded and I'm hopeful for even greater numbers responding to our call to screen this October, during UK Malnutrition Awareness Week and beyond it for the rest of the month. I know health and social care professionals have a great deal on their plate right now, but this year when we know more people are likely to be at risk, it is worth the small amount of effort to record and track that risk so that we can use that data going forward."

Please click on the report below to learn more. If you would like to sign up to take part in the 2020 survey please visit

National Survey of Malnutrition and Nutritional Care 2019

National Survey of Malnutrition and Nutritional Care Report from BAPEN's Malnutrition Action Group

Published: September 2020

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