A VOLUNTARY SCHEME to address the low awareness of malnutrition and dehydration amongst service users, carers and care professionals has been launched.
The Nutrition Advocates programme, backed by the Association of Care Catering (NACC) and the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) will help raise awareness of the importance of nutrition, including hydration, in all social and health care settings throughout the UK. It will also improve people’s ability to access healthy food and fluids that meet their nutrition requirements and are appropriate for their stage of life, ultimately preventing malnutrition and dehydration.
Nutrition advocates will be volunteers from within a team who has a keen interest in food and nutrition, is in a position to bring about change in the unit and can make a time commitment to leading the nutrition project in the workplace.
“Low awareness of malnutrition and dehydration amongst service users, carers and care professionals is still widespread,” said Karen Oliver, NACC chair. “Many social and health care staff are in a position to help monitor the health of older people so it is imperative that we ensure they have the awareness and tools to provide the care our vulnerable patients and service users deserve. The nutrition advocates will be important components in this process.”
Janice Gillan, HCA chair, added: “The nutrition advocates will further underpin key messages in hospitals and healthcare teams such as protected mealtimes. With the strong economic argument for supporting people with good nutrition and hydration there is a need to ensure every health care setting and team has someone in place to keep abreast of the changing face of good nutritional care.”