The innovative work of Focus on Undernutrition has enabled County Durham and Darlington to lead the way nationally on identifying and treating undernutrition from a regional perspective.
Focus on Undernutrition:
- flagship award winning service both locally and nationally due to its unique seamless approach to tackling undernutrition
- ensures adult patients in County Durham and Darlington are screened and treated for undernutrition wherever they are being treated
- provides accredited training and support on identifying and treating undernutrition which is linked to national standards and guidelines
- promotes the treatment of undernutrition by a food first approach including nourishing drinks, snacks and multivitamin mineral tablet, followed by appropriate prescribing and monitoring of oral nutritional supplements
- promotes ‘MUST’ (Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool) in all care settings in both hospitals, care homes and other community settings
- promotes the treatment of undernutrition by a food first approach
- promotes the appropriate prescribing and monitoring of oral nutritional supplements
Originally called Focus on Food, the service has evolved from a pilot project in six care homes to identify and treat undernutrition, to a team of seven implementing the service throughout health and social care across County Durham and Darlington.
Implementing Focus on Undernutrition service has resulted in:
- Reduced prevalence of undernutrition in County Durham and Darlington
- Reduced use of oral nutritional supplements
- Reduced incidence of pressure sores
- Significantly improved weight gain in undernourished residents in care homes
- Increased prevalence of nutritional screening
- Increased cost savings
- Improved patient outcomes
Focus on Undernutrition is used as an example of best practice by:
- National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA)
- Institute of Innovation and Improvement
- National Prescribing Centre (NPC)
- British Dietetic Association
- Royal College of Nursing.
To understand more about the Focus on Undernutrition service watch the following video.