Dietitians support national Nutrition and Hydration week
Dietitians at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust hosted a number of activities and events last week to mark national Nutrition and Hydration week (13th – 19th March).
With around three million people in the UK at risk of malnutrition, the aim of the week was to raise awareness of the risks and promote good practices that can help prevent malnutrition and dehydration.
The focus of the week was the promotion of a Self-Screening Tool for malnutrition, provided by the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN). 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 and is available from the BAPEN website, together with advice on improving nutritional intake.
During the week, dietitians were on hand at Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne DGH to encourage patients and visitors to undertake the Self-Screening Tool and there were information stands at the two acute hospitals and the Irvine Unit in Bexhill. Other events included “Meet the experts”, where colleagues had the chance to find out more about a range of topics related to nutrition and hydration and a session with staff at St Michael’s Hospice in Hastings on tasty nutritious drinks.
Lucinda Silva, Advanced Specialist Dietitian for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Approximately one third of patients who are admitted to hospital are at risk of malnutrition and as a result, have longer stays in hospital as their body takes longer to recuperate.
“Losing weight is not just part of getting older and can be the first sign that someone is at risk of malnourishment. If anyone is concerned about themselves or someone they care for, they can undertake the Self-Screening Tool and should also speak to a healthcare professional who will be able to provide further advice.”