Stop blaming nurses for malnutrition in older people

Focus instead on the widespread myths in the community about healthy eating

Focus instead on the widespread myths in the community about healthy eating

Staff in health and care settings usually take the brunt of the blame when the media reports on malnutrition among older people.

There has been an increase in recorded deaths from malnutrition, and figures from NHS Digital show adult hospital admissions with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition have tripled in the past decade.

Undoubtedly, there are challenges in practice that must be addressed to ensure older people are getting enough to eat and drink in hospitals, care homes and in their own homes.

Causes of malnutrition in older people

Despite high-level guidance and policy, awareness of undernutrition and dehydration and its causes remains insufficient among health and care staff. However, this is not the whole story; in one way