Analysis

Food and drink message has to work down from the top

Fresh guidance aimed at reducing poor nutrition and hydration in patients places more responsibility on senior nurses and clinical commissioners to ensure that messages trickle down to staff at all levels.

Fresh guidance aimed at reducing poor nutrition and hydration in patients places more responsibility on senior nurses and clinical commissioners to ensure that messages trickle down to staff at all levels.

The advice from NHS England, titled Guidance: Commissioning Excellent Nutrition and Hydration 2015-2018, is another result of the scandal of poor care and high mortality rates at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, where it was reported that some neglected patients had resorted to drinking water from flower vases.

The subsequent investigation found that one in three patients in hospitals or care homes was, or was at risk of being, malnourished. It recommended that clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) appoint senior nurses as champions for improvement.

Ahead of the curve

RCN professional lead for public health Helen Donovan says that the college is ahead of the curve on nutrition and hydration advice, having issued detailed guidelines and reminders.

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