Nursing staff must:
- listen to patients, their relatives and carers
- understand how ageing affects nutritional needs
- understand how illness and medication affect appetite and nutritional needs
- become food aware, meals are just as important as medication
- assess patients for signs or risk of malnourishment in health and social care settings and in the community
- assess skin integrity on admission and at regular intervals
- work with the patient, families and members of the MDT to address malnutrition
- ensure that the appropriate diet is being provided in health and social care settings
- provide advice and support to families and carers in relation to diet
- make sure mealtimes are protected
Seeking advice from specialist colleagues is important as appropriate.
NICE has produced guidance to help health professionals identify those who are malnourished, or at risk of malnutrition.
BAPEN e-Learning Portal: A range of free e-Learning modules with case studies covering malnutrition, nutrition support and nutritional screening using ‘MUST’.