An audit of nutritional care delivered to elderly inpatients in community hospitals
There is continuing concern over the lack of attention to the nutritional needs of older people in hospitals. A 2-year audit project was undertaken to examine the nutritional care of inpatients in Leicestershire Community Hospitals. Method
The methods used included analysis of menu cycles; observation of meal and drink provision, wastage, supplement usage and portion sizes; and patient satisfaction questionnaire examination. Results
Patient menus were nutritionally inadequate for energy, fibre and vitamin D, and protein levels were variable. The percentage of meal wastage and inadequate portion sizes were of concern. Patient satisfaction results were overall positive. Conclusion
Patient energy intakes are a major concern with low calorie provision from menus exacerbated by a deficit in recommended portion sizes and a high percentage of meal wastage. Routine audits need to be implemented to monitor both portion size and meal wastage, and to address patient satisfaction issues to improve the overall intakes of patients. Multidisciplinary team input is required to address the above issues and additional recommendations to promote nutrition as a key component in clinical care.