Taking on malnutrition across the UK

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This week we have a blog from the Malnutrition Task Force 

When you mention the word ‘malnutrition,’ many assume it is something that only happens in other countries and has been consigned to the history books in the UK.

Yet this is far from the truth.

Figures from BAPEN show 3 million people in the UK are malnourished or at risk of  malnutrition and that a high number of these, around 1.3 million, are over the age of 65.

To combat this issue, the Malnutrition Task Force has bought together professionals from across health, social care and local government to work alongside charities, older people and carers to pilot a new approach.

The Malnutrition Prevention Programme sees whole communities – including local NHS trusts, hospitals, GP practices, care homes and community groups – coming together to tackle the condition. Our aim is to significantly reduce the number of people aged 65 and over in different areas across the country who are malnourished.

We are being supported by the Department of Health as part of the Government’s response to the Francis Inquiry after it revealed patients, many of them older, had been unable to eat or drink properly and that nutrition was not treated as a priority.

The Programme is currently being piloted in five different areas: Gateshead, Salford, Purbeck in Dorset, Kent and Lambeth and Southwark and we’ve seen some fantastic progress and really innovative schemes launched to prevent malnutrition in older people.

More information about the Malnutrition Prevention Programme can be found on our website. Each of the pilot sites have a page on the website which will be updated with information on projects as they develop.

The University of Chester is evaluating all five of the pilot sites. We will disseminate the learning and results they uncover nationally to inspire other ‘communities’ across the UK to launch similar schemes.

Prevention and treatment of malnutrition is at the heart of everything we do and we know that with the correct programmes and projects, we can tackle malnutrition.

Find out more about the Malnutrition Task Force

Read more about health and wellbeing on the Age UK website 

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