New tool to help nurses improve nutritional care

Contains measures for quality of care as well as barriers and patient experience

The NMC Code is clear that nutrition and hydration are among the fundamentals of nursing care, yet to date, there has been no nationally available tool to support nurses to measure the quality of nutritional care.

Traditionally, measurement of patients’ nutritional care has been limited to a retrospective audit approach, measuring the percentage who have had nutritional screening completed on admission.

It has, in clinical practice, tended to be a tick-box exercise with many organisations achieving a good result. However, when nutritional care is observed during, for example, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections, or when patients are asked about their experiences, the results are much more variable.

During its inspection programme, the CQC has found a number of trusts falling below the minimum standard