Government plans to tackle care home malnutrition

29 October 2007 by
Government plans to tackle care home malnutrition

The Government-led action plan to tackle malnutrition in care homes is expected to be published tomorrow.

The Department of Health (DoH) led-plan was due to be published to tie in with National Meals on Wheels Week earlier this month (1 to 7 October) but was delayed.

Reports this weekend suggest the plan, headed by health minister Ivan Lewis, will now appear tomorrow.

The action plan is expected to include a timetable for improvements in the service and there may also be limited additional funding available for specific projects.

Measures in the plan will include regular weighing of at risk individuals in care homes and the introduction of a red tray system, which will alert staff to those residents that need monitoring and possible assistance at meal times.

The Government is also expected to set up a Dignity in Meal Times governance group, which will meet the minister quarterly.

The knock-on effect of malnutrition, such as longer hospital stays and extra treatment, is estimated to cost the UK £7.3b each year.

As many as 60,000 of the 441,067 adults in care are believed to be malnourished, according to Liberal Democrat figures.

Malnutrition action plan launch delayed >>

Government decides to tackle malnutrition >>
Health minister promise to tackle malnutrition in older people >>

By Chris Druce

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