Publisher: RCSENG - NCC-AC
National Collaborating Centre for Acture Care, The Royal College of Surgeons of England
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the National Collaborating Centre for Acute Care launched a clinical guideline to help the NHS identify patients who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. The guideline sets out the appropriate nutrition support that these people should receive.
The guideline recommends that:
- All hospitals inpatients on admissions and all outpatients at their first clinic appointment should be screened (weighed, measured and have Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated). Screening should be repeated weekly for inpatients and when there is clinical concern for outpatients. People in care homes should be screened on admission and when there is clinical concern.
- Nutrition support should be considered in people who are malnourished, as defined by a BMI of less than 18.5; unintentional weight loss greater than 10% within the last 3-6 months; or a BMI of less than 20 and unintentional weight loss greater than 5% within the last 3-6 months.
- Nutrition support should be considered in people at risk of malnutrition, as defined by having eaten little or nothing for more than 5 days and/or are likely to eat little or nothing for the next 5 days or longer; who are unable to take in nutrients properly, and/or who have increased nutritional needs.
- All acute hospital trusts should employ at least one specialist nutrition support nurse and establish a nutrition steering committee.
- All healthcare professionals who are directly involved in patient care should receive education and training, relevant to their post, on the importance of providing adequate nutrition.
Dr Mike Stroud of the Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton and Chair of the Guideline Development Group says: "Ensuring patients receive adequate nutrition is an essential part of basic patient care, yet we know malnutrition is still a big problem for the NHS. The guideline contains one obvious and simple message - Do not let your patients starve and when you offer them nutrition support, do so by the safest, simplest, most effective route. By recommending a widespread programme of screening and nutrition support, this guidance is likely to make a real difference and save lives."
Hard copy of guidelines
Includes the evidence and rationale behind the recommendations. You can order bound copies of this document (175 pages plus CD ROM) for £20 from the NCC-AC by emailing NCGC-Office@rcplondon.ac.uk or by telephone on 020 7935 1174 ext 2725.
The following documents can be found on the NICE website
- NICE Guideline
- Quick Reference Guide
- Information for the Public
- Implementation Advice
- Costing Template and Report
Download the full version here
Nutrition.pdf (PDF document 898Kb)