Community team tackling malnutrition

The community dietetic team has begun to test two models of care. 

The models being tested are; a training based intervention in Southwark and a direct clinical care model in Lambeth. 

In Southwark, the team has already started training community staff on how to use the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) and action planning, and will begin their work with care homes and GPs over the coming weeks. The team will also run a dietetic clinic in the Older Persons Assessment Unit at Guy’s Hospital and in the near future a clinic at Dulwich Hospital. 

In Lambeth, the dietitians will provide domiciliary and care homes visits. They will also provide specialist care to malnourished patients receiving intermediate care. They are also available to make joint visits to patients with other health care professionals.

1 in 10 people over 65 living in the community are malnourished or at riskLiz Weekes, the consultant dietitian leading the project, said: “Malnutrition is a problem that can affect anyone but it is more common among older people. People who are malnourished find it difficult to undertake everyday activities such as shopping, and are more likely to need to visit their GP or be admitted to hospital.

“We will be working with health and social care professionals to improve the recognition of nutritionally vulnerable individuals and ensure they have access to the services they require.”