BAPEN Launch new 3 step guide to improving nutritional care in England

Press Release – 17th March 2013 BAPEN Press Release

Malnutrition Matters: A Commitment to Act

A three-step guide to improving nutritional care in England

March 17th 2014: BAPEN launches a new easy to use guide ‘Malnutrition Matters: A Commitment to Act’, designed to bring much needed clarity to where responsibility for commissioning and delivering good nutritional care lies in England.  The Guide, which has been endorsed by sixteen key professional organisations including the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology (PCSG) and the Malnutrition Taskforce, sets out clear and simple priorities for each level of the health and social care system and targets national, regional and local influencers, providers, carers and patients (listed below):

  • – Government (national and local)
  • – NHS England
  • – Public Health England
  • – Care Quality Commission
  • – Health Education England
  • – Commissioners
  • – Hospitals and staff
  • – Community Health and Social Care
  • – GPs
  • – Community Pharmacists
  • – Local Education and Training Boards
  • – Local Health Watch
  • – Carers and Patients

The Guide has been developed and launched for a number of important reasons:

1: Failings in nutritional care as highlighted in the Francis Report are not unique to Mid Staffordshire and it is vital that learnings are taken from this to ensure that all hospital patients and individuals in the health and social care systems receive better nutritional care.

2.  Developing and delivering an integrated nutritional care pathways is hugely complex and should not be underestimated.

3. Nutritional Care and the Patient Voice: Are we being listened to? a new  jointly authored report  published by BAPEN and PINNT (March 2014) with involvement and endorsement from nine other patient organisations, confirms that patients and carers feel little progress has been made in delivering improved patient-centred care and with some feeling there has been a recent deterioration in care.

4. The results of the five Nutrition Screening Week (NSW) Reports published by BAPEN (March 2014) which cover the UK as a whole and its four nations suggest that there is considerable room for improvement in how hospitals identify malnutrition and communicate the results to the community, so that there is continuity of treatment  and care for patients.

“BAPEN, driven by the failings identified by Francis and inspired by the recommendations of Berwick, is committed to the improvement of nutritional care.In November 2013, we dedicated the opening symposium at our annual conference to three of the priorities identified by Berwick; listening to patients, leadership and the measurement of improvement over time. And since then we have worked with our members and national partner organizations to develop this guide which is focused on taking action.” Ailsa Brotherton, BAPEN Quality Group

The guide sets out three recommendations for commissioning and delivering good nutritional care across all the involved organisations.  The recommendations have been based upon the guidance set out by Don Berwick in his report; ‘A Promise to Learn, A Commitment to Act’ with a specific focus on the actions he identified:

  • – Place the quality of patient care, especially patient safety, above all other aims
  • – Engage, empower and hear patients and carers at all times
  • – Foster whole-heartedly the growth and development of all staff, including their ability and support to improve the processes in which they work
  • – Embrace transparency unequivocally and everywhere, in the service of accountability, trust and the growth of knowledge.’

“We have always said that good nutritional care is everyone’s responsibility but until now have  failed to specify exactly who should do what within the  system. This guide addresses that problem and is easy to use as we have defined the top three priority actions for every level of care. Patients and carers, professionals and organisations simply need to go the part of the guide that relates to them and take action.

There has been a culture in our health and social care organisations of accepting poor processes and falling well short of designing the best, highly reliable systems. We are committed to working with patients, national partners, commissioners and provider organisations to place the quality of patient care, especially patient safety, above all other aims” Dr Mike Stroud, Chair of BAPEN’s Quality Group

Malnutrition Matters: A Commitment to Act is straightforward and easy to use.  It has been designed so users simply go to the section that relates to them and take action.   A wide range of supporting education and resources to support the recommendations in the Guide are also available from the BAPEN website:

BAPEN is making an electronic version of the guide freely available to all via the BAPEN website (
BAPEN will be providing copies of the Guide to the Government, NHS England, the Department of Health, Royal Colleges and patient organisations. In addition the electronic version will be distributed to acute trusts, CSUs, CCGs and social care organisations.

The guide can also be found here

For more information, interviews and comment:

Charlotte Messer or Helen Lawn

01892 525141/07928 700277/07879 818247


BAPEN is a charitable association that raises awareness of malnutrition and works to advance the nutritional care of patients and those at risk from malnutrition in the wider community.

The association is made up of influential professional and patient organisations, which work in collaboration to improve and deliver safe and effective nutritional care throughout the UK:

  • – BAPEN Medical is primarily aimed at doctors but is open to all those with an interest in clinical nutrition.  Its aims are:Education and training of clinicians at all levels; to encourage research and development and to foster collaborations between members’ research groups; to foster inter-disciplinary links and collaboration between medical specialties; to foster multi-professional links and collaboration between health professionals.
  • – BAPEN regional reps are a multidisciplinary team of professionals working in the field of nutrition. Providing a local resource for education, training and support in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, they can be contacted via the BAPEN website.
  • – The British Pharmaceutical Nutrition Group ((BPNG) is a specialist  group for primarily pharmacists and scientists, but open to all with an interest in clinical nutrition. The group was founded in 1988 following growing concerns about the stability of parenteral nutrition feeds.  BPNG has published position statements on ‘multichamber bags’, in-line filtration of PN and calcium phosphate stability.  Education is now a focus for the group which runs multidisciplinary ‘fundamental parenteral nutrition’ and ‘advanced’ nutrition courses.  Publications include the ‘Handbook for drug administration via enteral feeding tubes’ and a competency framework for pharmacists working within clinical nutrition.
    • The British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (BSPGHAN) provides professional leadership and promotes standards of care for children with nutritional, gastrointestinal and hepatological disorders.  Its membership includes consultants and specialist trainees in paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition as well as specialist dietitians, nurses and nutrition pharmacists. The society supports research, training and education for members and the development of standards of care for children with nutritional disorders; it also gives advice and support to implement child-centred strategies to deliver nutrition assessment and nutrition support through the Nutrition & Intestinal Failure Working Group.
    • The National Nurses Nutrition Group (NNNG) The NNNG was established in 1986. It is a registered charity which aims to promote education and the nursing role in nutrition and related subjects for the nursing profession for the benefit of patients in hospital and community environments. Over recent years the focus of the group has widened to reflect the increasing profile of nutrition: from screening strategies and mealtimes to the complex nature of artificial feeding.
    • The Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Group (PENG) is a specialist group of the British Dietetic Association. The PENG strives to train, educate, support and represent dietitians working in oral, enteral and parenteral nutrition support in all care settings. The group acts as the professional voice on matters pertaining to nutritional support and is a founder group of BAPEN. Members are registered dietitians who aim to ensure that nutritional support for patients is safe and clinically effective both in hospital and at home. <>
  • – PINNT is the UK support group for patients on home enteral or parenteral nutrition.  Established 25 years ago, PINNT has grown into a community that provides genuine understanding to help individuals and carers, deal with the many challenges faced on artificial feeding at home.  They also work closely with healthcare professionals, suppliers and manufacturers in order to enhance the patient journey.  The PINNT network provides a unique and united voice to campaign for a better, flexible and safer service.
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