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:
1. NHS England
2. National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA)
3. Institute of Innovation and Improvement
4. National Prescribing Centre (NPC)
5. British Dietetic Association
6. Royal College of Nursing.
To understand more about the Focus on Undernutrition service watch the following video.