In November 2013, under the guidance of Dr Dan Poulter, under Secretary for Health the Department of Health announced the formation of a brand new Hospital Food Standards Panel to be chaired by Dame Dianne Jeffrey.
The aim of the Food Panel is to examine the patient experience of hospital food from the point of sourcing raw ingredients, through to what is produced and offered to the patient in conjunction with what care is provided to ensure that patients’ nutritional needs are met. The panel quite clearly states that nurses play a key role in the nutritional care of patients and to champion the nursing role. The NNNG are delighted to announce that we have been asked to represent nursing on this influential panel. Liz Evans, Chair of the NNNG will be attending the meetings and states
“ I am delighted that the role the NNNG plays in good nutritional care has been recognised and on behalf of the NNNG I am proud to represent nursing. Nutrition is a fundamental part of care and no matter how good medical or surgical interventions are, if a patient is not well nourished, their recovery process is delayed. Poor nutrition has been linked to poor outcomes, increased length of stay, hospital acquired infections and pressure ulcers. Whilst it has to be recognised that good nutritional care is everyone’s responsibility, nurses are in a privileged and unique position as they are the staff who generally assist the patient to eat and drink. Therefore they are in the best place to be able to ensure that this is done effectively. Nutrition nurses have been at the forefront of improving nutritional care in our Trusts for some time and we welcome the chance to share our expertise and influence policy. It is our intention to push home the message that food and drink is not a hotel service but an important part of care that should be given time, resources and understanding to enable safe and appropriate care to be provided to all patients. Good nutrition needs nurses!”