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Tackling malnutrition in older people

The number of older people being admitted to hospital with malnutrition has increased dramatically in the past five years. Catharine Sadler looks at what is being done to halt the rise and ensure that the nutritional needs of older people are being met.
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The number of older people being admitted to hospital with malnutrition has increased dramatically in the past five years. Catharine Sadler looks at what is being done to halt the rise and ensure that the nutritional needs of older people are being met

The sharp rise in the number of hospital admissions for malnutrition has caused concern among nurses and older people’s charities.

Department of Health figures show the number of bed days occupied by patients with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition rose from 128,361 in 2010-11 to 184,528 in 2015-16 – a rise of 44% in five years. Four out of five of these patients were admitted as emergencies, and 42% were aged over 65.

RCN professional lead for long-term conditions and end of life

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