Malnutrition in hospitals: unrecognised and ignored

Julie Abayomi, Shirley Judd, Allan Hackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Malnutrition in hospitals has been acknowledged since Florence Nightingale's time. Despite a range of policies and campaigns to deal with the problem, little appears to have changed. This article argues that preventing malnutrition among hospital patients is not just a question of providing quality hospital food. Tackling malnutrition needs to be a priority for all health professionals, managers and politicians. There needs to be a substantial change in culture within the NHS, acknowledging nutrition as an integral component of clinical care, with budgets for food provision held within ‘clinical services’, rather than ‘hotel services’. Health professionals need increased nutritional knowledge and should undertake undergraduate and postgraduate nutritional training, with an emphasis on malnutrition. With reduced hospital stays, the window of opportunity for identifying and treating malnutrition will diminish without the involvement of primary care staff. Screening will help identify those at risk, but adequate funding to ensure appropriate resources to deal with malnutrition are also needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-495
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Healthcare Management
Volume15
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009

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