National Nutrition and Hydration week, which raises awareness and improves the understanding of the importance of good nutrition and hydration, was supported across the Trust.
Malnutrition (undernutrition) is a common and growing health problem. The British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) estimated that malnutrition affects over 3 million people in the UK. Malnutrition leads to:
- Muscle wasting
- Increases risk of infection, complications
- Predisposes individuals to falls and pressure ulcers
- Delays recovery and reduces quality of life.
The aim of National Nutrition and Hydration week was to raise awareness of the risks of, and promote the good practices that can help prevent malnutrition, dehydration and sarcopenia.
There were displays and activities and the dietetic teams at Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne DGH encouraged patients and visitors to undertake the BAPEN Self-Screening Tool for malnutrition. The tool can be used by anyone who is concerned that they may be at risk of becoming malnourished or anyone who has concerns about someone they care for.
Lucinda Silva, Advanced Specialist Dietitian for ESHT, said: “Approximately one third of people who are admitted to hospital or care homes are at risk of malnutrition and staff and carers can identify those individuals by using the BAPEN national malnutrition screening tool. Good nutrition, hydration and exercise are important for those at risk from malnutrition, dehydration and sarcopenia and will help to; aid recovery, prevent ill health, and help maintain physical strength and function. We hope the week’s activities raised awareness and helped improve staff knowledge and skills in nutritional care and management to improve and provide good and effective patient nutritional care.”