MTF and BAPEN launch new hospital guide

By on May 9th, 2013

Press Release

9th May 2013

BAPEN Press Release

New Hospital Guide Launched

Introducing: Preventing Malnutrition in Later Life: Best Practice Principles & Implementation Guide

Malnutrition continues to be a major cause and consequence of poor health with older people particularly vulnerable – 33% of people over 65 years old are currently malnourished or at risk of malnutrition on admission to hospital1

Today ambitious new guidance is being released, designed to help hospitals improve their standards of nutrition and hydration care, particularly amongst the elderly.  The Hospital Guide Preventing Malnutrition in Later Life: Best Practice Principles & Implementation Guide, which is available to download for free from , has been produced by BAPEN and the Malnutrition Task Force (MTF)*, an independent group of experts from health, social care and local government united to address preventable malnutrition and dehydration in hospitals, care homes and in the community.  The Guide provides an easy to use framework for implementing real change and signposts useful resources and tools that are currently available and will enable hospital staff to implement the necessary changes to make a real difference.

Most people still do not realise how common malnutrition is or how serious the consequences of it can be and so malnutrition and dehydration often continue to go unrecognised and untreated. The costs of malnutrition run into billions of pounds in spite of proven interventions that can help prevent, identify and manage the problem and risks promptly and thereby reduce the human suffering and the significant associated costs.

The new Guide outlines how to implement excellent nutritional care. Dr Mike Stroud, Chair of BAPEN’s Quality Group, Co-Chair of the MTF and leader of the NICE Guideline Development Group on Nutrition Support commented, ‘This guide is an important step forward as it outlines ‘how’ hospitals can actually deliver improved nutritional care and comply with guidelines. We should not underestimate the complexity involved in delivering good nutritional care across hospital systems given the number of processes, health care professionals and departments involved. However, it has now been seven years since the publication of the NICE Guideline for nutritional support and it is unacceptable that some hospitals are still not compliant with the recommendations in that guideline – a failure highlighted by both the final recommendations of the Francis Report (2013) on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Dignity and Nutrition inspections (2013) which have both shown that that hospitals repeatedly fail to provide older people with the basic right to food, drink and nutrition support when they need it. There has never been a more urgent need to act.”

The new Guide identifies many excellent examples of practice and existing guidelines, tools and resources that are readily available. It draws on these principles of best practice and provides a clear framework to support senior hospital leaders and clinical teams delivering front line care to take action and make the changes needed.

Dianne Jeffrey, chairman of the Malnutrition Task Force concluded, “Whilst there is good practice in many hospitals, the CQC DANI reports show that there is still room for improvement and some are failing to provide good nutrition and hydration care for their patients. There is still some way to go before older people can be confident of the good nutritional care they deserve.  We have drawn together principles of best practice and examples of what already works well in countering malnutrition as well as identified barriers and have formed this guide. It is designed to help you take action and make the changes needed to improve nutrition and hydration care for your patients.  

We urge you to work together to implement change and provide safe and high quality care that ensures the dignity of each and every patient.”


For more information, interviews and comment:

Charlotte Messer or Helen Lawn

01892 525141/07928 700277/07879 818247


*The Malnutrition Task Force is an independent group of experts across Health, Social Care and Local government united to address the problem of  preventable malnutrition in older people.

Membership of the Malnutrition Task Force on 13 Feb 2013

Chair: Dianne Jeffrey CBE DL Chairman Age UK and Co-chair of Dignity Commission

Co-chair: Dr Mike Stroud, Bapen


  • Jane Ashcroft, CEO, Anchor Trust
  • Dr. Ailsa Brotherton, Senior Research Fellow, Univ of Central Lancs
  • Andrew Foster, C.E., Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tim Hammond, C.E., Elior and Trustee of Age UK
  • Sue Hawkins, Dorset County Council and National Association of Care Catering
  • Helena Herklots, CEO, Carers UK
  • Brian Hills, representing older people and carers
  • Prof. Paul Knight, President, British Geriatrics Society
  • Caroline Lecko, Patient Safety Lead, NHS Commissioning Board
  • Dr Berenice Lopez, Consultant Chemical Pathologist with Metabolic Medicine, Harrogate NHS Trust, representing RCGP
  • Jonathan Mason, Clinical Adviser (Medicines), NHS North East London and the City
  • Tracy Paine, Royal College of Nursing and Operations Director, Belong
  • Bill Robertson, Strategic Dir. Adult Care, Derbyshire County Council and ADASS
  • Caroline Trevithick, Chief Nurse and Quality Lead, West Leicestershire CCG
  • Dr. Lisa Wilson, Public Health Nutritionist, International Longevity Centre
  • Rick Wilson, Director of Nutrition and Dietetics, King’s College Hospital
  • Carole Wood, Director of Public Health, Gateshead PCT
  • Sarah Wren, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire LA Community Meals Service


  • Linda Jennings, WRVS
  • Dr Rebecca Stratton, Nutricia and Institute of Human Nutrition, Southampton Univ
  • Helen Blunn, Apetito
  • Ruthe Isden, Policy Programme Manager, Age UK



BAPEN is a charitable association that raises awareness of malnutrition and works to advance the nutritional care of patients and those at risk from malnutrition in the wider community.

The association is made up of influential professional and patient organisations, which work in collaboration to improve and deliver safe and effective nutritional care throughout the UK:

  • BAPEN Medical is primarily aimed at doctors but is open to all those with an interest in clinical nutrition.  Its aims are: Education and training of clinicians at all levels; to encourage research and development and to foster collaborations between members’ research groups; to foster inter-disciplinary links and collaboration between medical specialties; to foster multi-professional links and collaboration between health professionals.
  • BAPEN regional reps are a multidisciplinary team of professionals working in the field of nutrition. Providing a local resource for education, training and support in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, they can be contacted via the BAPEN website.
  • The British Pharmaceutical Nutrition Group ((BPNG) is a specialist  group for primarily pharmacists and scientists, but open to all with an interest in clinical nutrition. The group was founded in 1988 following growing concerns about the stability of parenteral nutrition feeds.  BPNG has published position statements on ‘multichamber bags’, in-line filtration of PN and calcium phosphate stability.  Education is now a focus for the group which runs multidisciplinary ‘fundamental parenteral nutrition’ and ‘advanced’ nutrition courses.  Publications include the ‘Handbook for drug administration via enteral feeding tubes’ and a competency framework for pharmacists working within clinical nutrition.
    • The British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (BSPGHAN) provides professional leadership and promotes standards of care for children with nutritional, gastrointestinal and hepatological disorders.  Its membership includes consultants and specialist trainees in paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition as well as specialist dietitians, nurses and nutrition pharmacists. The society supports research, training and education for members and the development of standards of care for children with nutritional disorders; it also gives advice and support to implement child-centred strategies to deliver nutrition assessment and nutrition support through the Nutrition & Intestinal Failure Working Group.
    • The National Nurses Nutrition Group (NNNG) The NNNG was established in 1986. It is a registered charity which aims to promote education and the nursing role in nutrition and related subjects for the nursing profession for the benefit of patients in hospital and community environments. Over recent years the focus of the group has widened to reflect the increasing profile of nutrition: from screening strategies and mealtimes to the complex nature of artificial feeding.
  • The Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (PEN) Group is a specialist group of the British Dietetic Association. The PEN Group strives to train, educate, support and represent dietitians working in oral, enteral and parenteral nutrition support in all care settings. The group acts as the professional voice on matters pertaining to nutritional support and is a founder group of BAPEN. Members are registered dietitians who aim to ensure that nutritional support for patients is safe and clinically effective both in hospital and at home.
  • PINNT is the UK support group for patients on home enteral or parenteral nutrition.  Established 25 years ago, PINNT has grown into a community that provides genuine understanding to help individuals and carers, deal with the many challenges faced on artificial feeding at home.  They also work closely with healthcare professionals, suppliers and manufacturers in order to enhance the patient journey.  The PINNT network provides a unique and united voice to campaign for a better, flexible and safer service.