This page is for those responsible for providing care to patients in a hospital setting.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) have found that better nutritional care reduces complications in patients and their length of stay; thus not only improving recovery rates but also saving substantial money in the long term. Of course, in children and young people, adequate nutrition is essential to help them continue to grow and develop whilst in hospital care. In both adults and children alike, nutrition gives patients the energy and nutrients they need to recover from illness, regain strength and help the body to heal.
Malnutrition can be both a cause and consequence of illness, and so is especially important in a hospital setting. 40% of adult hospital patients and 15% of children inpatients are malnourished upon admission to hospital. Most of these patients continue to lose weight during their admission, with average food intake in hospital being less than 75% of recommended values. This is particularly common amongst the elderly and negatively influences recovery rates. These figures highlight the need for food and nutrition to be central to a patient's treatment, and the responsibility hospitals have to ensure their patients are offered nutritionally-balanced menus with adequate choice, which cater to individual needs.
Identify dishes which are halal, kosher, vegetarian and vegan to ensure that nutritionally balanced menus are provided for those with cultural dietary requirements
Ensure that those requiring inclusion or exclusion of certain foods still receive a nutritionally balanced menu
Label and filter foods by their texture to create menus suitable for older people with Dysphagia and other swallowing difficulties who require a texture-specific diet. Ensure these individuals still receive adequate nutrition
Cater easily for those who are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, as well as those with specific food allergies
The information displayed on this page has been taken from NICE guidelines and NICE supported research