The Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) and the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), which joined forced to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition in social and healthcare settings with the launch of Nutrition Day, has received widespread support from key players in the sector.
The Patient Safety Agency, British Dietetic Associations, Royal College of Nursing and Malnutrition Task Force have all lent their support to the initiative, which is scheduled to take place on 23 March.
Nutrition Day is the brainchild of the two most recent recipients of Caterer and Hotelkeeper's Public Sector Catey award: Derek Johnson, former chair of the NACC and 2011 winner, and Andrew Jones, chair of the West Midlands branch of the HCA and last year's winner.
They envisage the overall aim of the day is to illustrate how, by making positive changes to eating and drinking habits, patients and customers can improve their quality of life.
Last autumn, the UK's Office of National Statistics indicated that both malnutrition and dehydration were factors that are cited in the cause of death of over 420 people in social and health care settings every year.
The Care Quality Commission's State of Care Report 2012 published in November also placed further focus on nutrition and feeding in the sector with up to 1 in 5 of the establishments inspected not reaching the desired standards,
The costs to health and social care are on the increase with over £13b spent on treating malnutrition related illnesses in the UK.
On receiving the support of other organisations working in the healthcare field, Jones commented: "The response to the day has been fantastic, and all we ask is people promote their good work to demonstrate how it can improve someone's well being."
Johnson added: "We cannot afford to sit back, keep having focus groups and doing now is the time for action."
[HCA and NACC team up to launch Nutrition Day >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/05/11/2012/346106/HCA-and-NACC-team-up-to-launch-Nutrition-Day.htm)
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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