New nutrition toolkit being rolled out across medical wards

A new toolkit has been developed to help ward teams manage patients who need extra nutrition during their hospital stay. It has been piloted on Mulbarton ward with the aim of rolling out the toolkit across all the medical wards.

“We see nutritional issues right across the hospital and a lack of good nutrition can lead to longer hospital stays and poorer outcomes for patients,” said Kris Howell, Specialist Dietitian.

“The toolkit will help nursing colleagues on the ward to identify any immediate nutritional issues for their patients without the need to refer to the dietetics service. The toolkit is used alongside the MUST screening tool, helping ward colleagues to devise a plan for the patient and start it on admission.

“There are simple steps that wards can take to avoid patients becoming malnourished, such as ordering high calorie/high protein snacks or nutritional supplements through EPMA which are ‘ready to serve’ to the patient.”

The dietary supplements can be used in addition to the three meals and three snacks offered to all patients throughout the day. They can also be used as a substitute for the snacks offered at mid-morning, mid-afternoon and in the evening, providing more protein than regular biscuits or fruit.

“As nurses we want to provide the best nutrition for our patients and this toolkit gives us the information we need to make a plan as soon as the patient is admitted,” said Tanya Moon, Divisional Nursing Director for Medicine.

“We want to see all patients benefitting from good nutrition and the toolkit is a step forward in helping us deal with the increased demand.”

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