Spotlight on: our Nutrition Support Team

Our team Nutrition Support Team (NST) comprises of three consultants, four nursing staff, a specialist dietitian, a specialist pharmacist and secretary.

“We provide support and treatment plans for adult patients with complex nutritional requirements. Our particular focus is on patients with short and long term intestinal failure, patients needing new long-term enteral feeding tubes and patients with eating disorders. Much of our daily workload revolves around inpatient daily reviews, troubleshooting in these specialist areas and admission prevention.

“We are also involved with providing educational support across the Trust to help give clinical staff the tools to provide nutritional support. This is something that we are continually aiming to expand.

“Malnourishment can have a huge impact on patient recovery with wound healing, mobility and length of stay most commonly affected Nutritional screening is therefore imperative to allow identification of malnutrition and intervention.

“We work closely with dietitians and sometimes our roles overlap. If a patient becomes more complex in terms of developing intestinal failure or planning for insertion of long-term enteral feeding tubes then it becomes appropriate for a referral to be made to the NST, often this will be initiated by the dietitian, who working in isolation, will need to escalate individual cases to us.

“Covering the entire hospital can be challenging, with enteral tube troubleshooting queries coming in from the inpatients wards as well as the community and in the previous two years we have prescribed approximately 3,000 bags of inpatient TPN each year, this number has grown significantly in the last five years.

“It is a really interesting role because we help make a difference and can see the changes that our work makes for patients who are severely malnourished and we see them improve.”

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