10th March 2017

Nutrition and Hydration Week 2017: 13th – 19th March

It’s Nutrition and Hydration week again!

The week aims to highlight, promote and celebrate improvements in the provision of nutrition and hydration locally, nationally and globally. In the week, many social and health settings share their good practice on social media as well as using activities like afternoon tea parties to promote the vital importance of food, nutrition and hydration.

One of the perhaps more serious elements of the week is to promote the 10 Key Characteristics for Good Nutritional Care. This standard was originally developed in 2003 from a Council of Europe report. It offered an overarching set of principles that were of particular help in developing a patient-focused food and drink strategy, but were largely hospital based.  More recently these were revised following feedback from other stakeholders to be meaningful to the wider settings in which nutrition care is given in the UK including care homes.

If you are unaware of these or as a reminder, below is a brief summary, or if you prefer you could view them on video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6zQaMzsAtU.

  1. Screening

Screen all patients and service-users to identify malnourishment or risk of malnourishment and ensure actions are progressed and monitored.

  1. Personal care or support plan

Together with each patient or service user, create a personal care/support plan enabling them to have choice and control over their own nutritional care and fluid needs.

  1. Provide specific guidance on nutrition and hydration

Care providers should include specific guidance on food and beverage services and other nutritional and hydration care in their service delivery and accountability arrangements.

  1. Involve service users in planning their food and fluid intake

People using care services are involved in the planning and monitoring arrangements for food service and drinks provision.

  1. Provide food and drink in an environment conductive to eating & drinking

Food and drinks should be provided alone or with assistance in an environment conducive to patients being able to consume their food (Protected Mealtimes).

  1. All involved receive training on nutrition and hydration

All health care professionals and volunteers receive regular training to ensure they have the skills, qualifications and competencies needed to meet the nutritional and fluid requirements of people using their services.

  1. Provision should be centred on the service user up to 24/7 365 days a year

Facilities and services providing nutrition and hydration are designed to be flexible and centred on the needs of the people using them, 24 hours a day, every day.

  1. Provider should have a food and fluid policy

All care providers to have a nutrition and hydration policy centred on the needs of users and is performance managed in line with local governance, national standards and regulatory frameworks.

  1. Food & drink should be delivered safely

Food, drinks and other nutritional care are delivered safely.

  1. Nutrition and hydration is everybody’s responsibility

Care providers should take a multi-disciplinary approach to nutrition and hydration care, valuing the contribution of all staff, people using the service, carers and volunteers working in partnership.

You may consider assessing your organisation’s compliance with these characteristics. You could even set it as your task to mark Nutrition and Hydration Week! But why not hold a tea party as well!

More information on nutrition and hydration week 2017 can be found on https://nutritionandhydrationweek.co.uk/

 

*All information is correct at the time of publishing

Ayela Spiro

Nutrition Science Manager, British Nutrition Foundation

Ayela is a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, where her role involves providing expert advice on nutrition and health issues to a number of key audiences including consumers, health professionals, charities, the media and the food industry. At the heart of her work is the communication of nutrition science that promotes understanding of nutrition and health and contributes to the improved wellbeing of all.

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