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Focus on Undernutrition Focus on Undernutrition

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Care Homes For Older People

Focus on Undernutrition provides free training and support to all care homes for older people within County Durham and Darlington. The FoU service is delivered in a seamless way using quality standards for implementation and has been implemented in over 75 local care homes, training over 3000 healthcare staff and 400 catering staff.

This training has been accredited by the Teesside University as a level 4 certificate (10 credits) and endorsed by BAPEN (British Association for Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition).

Focus on Undernutrition has worked in partnership with the local authorities to incorporate principles of implementing the service into care home commissioning contracts and resident agreements, which is linked to quality star ratings and funding. The FoU service fulfils national guidance:

  • Department of Health (DH, 2006)
  • Care Quality Commission (2010)
  • Council of Europe (2008)
  • National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2006)
  • National Patient Safety Agency (2009)
  • National Prescribing Centre (2011)
  • Royal College of Nursing (2008)

Download a PDF of our Focus on Undernutrition service in care homes Powerpoint presentation.

Service delivery

FoU delivers a unique whole home approach. The home is required to fulfil minimum quality standards in order to receive the Focus on Undernutrition certification. This certificate is awarded annually if the home achieves the quality standards.

Unique resources are provided to the home to support them to implement the recommendations of the training, these include a resource file, recipe book, 'MUST' nutritional screening tool, core care plans, food charts, patient information leaflets, ‘MUST’ alternative measurement tape & a CD of resources.

Evaluation of care home services

Initial research identified that following Focus on Undernutrition implementation the prevalence of undernutrition in local care homes reduced from 44% to 38% of residents. However, resident care was negatively affected in homes when ‘MUST’ was implemented without appropriate training.

Recent evaluation of the database supports the impact the service is having locally.

Focus on Undernutrition undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the service at baseline and six months following implementation; then annually to ensure the homes continue to implement the FoU quality standards.

Quote from a care home:

Lynn Lant, Manager, Newton Aycliffe Care Home.

“Focus on Undernutrition makes a great difference in care homes. The staff embrace the FoU training and understand the importance of nutrition. It makes a huge difference to the life of the residents. My statistics on the number of residents losing weight are reducing as a result of the FoU training”.

The impact of Focus on Undernutrition was published in local newspaper the Northern Echo.