Campaigning for the highest standards
The RNHA has long campaigned for the highest possible standards of nutrition in nursing homes. Together with the Royal College of Nursing, the British Dietetic Association and the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN), we supported the development of the MUST screening tool to identify early signs of potential malnutrition.
We have repeatedly called for greater investment in community dietetic services so that their invaluable expertise can be made more widely available to nursing homes. We believe this should be a priority for primary care trusts, especially in those parts of the country where the NHS dietetic service is currently under-developed.
We have also called for increased funding by central and local government in services for older people. Extra resources are needed, we believe, not only to help raise overall standards of care but also to enable care providers, including nursing homes, to spend more on food and nutrition.
As the Commission for Social Care Inspection points out, care homes have on average only around £2.43 per day with which to feed their residents. It is a tribute to care homes that so many of them manage within this very limited budget to provide good quality, nutritious food.
Key documents and policy initiatives
Here, in this part of our web site, we explain and comment on many of the key documents and policy initiatives relating to nutrition and older people, including:
- the relevant sections of national minimum standards for care homes;
- the MUST screening tool developed by BAPEN, with support from the RNHA;
- recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on screening for malnutrition;
- nutritional guidance from the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI);
- nutritional guidance from the Food Standards Agency.