‘Feeding Better Outcomes’ - Practical solutions to tackling malnutrition
The learning from the National 10 Point Plan for the Management of Malnutrition, its implications, findings and recommendations were discussed in the round among a panel of subject matter experts from academia, health and industry partners. Chaired by Dr Anant Jani of Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford.
Malnutrition among vulnerable people is growing as a result of a threefold impact of poor health screening, disparity of status of nutrition professionals within multi-disciplinary health care and the phenomena of food deserts. Authored by James Roach of health transformation consultancy Conclusio and supported by a Research Grant from the British Specialist Nutrition Association, the 10-Point Plan calls for changes to behaviour and practice within health care systems to support earlier screening of vulnerable patients in the community.
Call to action:
Among the recommendations, is the call for the creation of a Clinical Standards Board for the management of malnutrition in each of the new Integrated Care Systems (ICS). Currently, NICE guidelines on screening for malnutrition focus on secondary care and the Plan calls for a common standard and metric for managing optimal care of people experiencing, or at risk of, malnutrition across secondary, primary and community care. In addition it calls for –
· Integrated approaches and a system-wide approach to malnutrition
· Fixed-point identification of need and unmet need
· A focus on wider determinants of health and the role of public health in addressing the drivers of malnutrition
· Creating a nutrition charter
James Roach, the author of the Plan says, “It’s an interesting paradox that health services are very good at identifying obesity, yet poor at identifying nutritional condition and status.”