The Northern Health and Social Services Board in partnership with United Hospitals
Trust and Causeway Health and Social Services Trust highlighted the importance
of nutrition in nursing homes by hosting a conference entitled “Every
Mouthful Matters - Nutritional Needs of Older People in Nursing Homes”.
A community nutritional risk tool which provides a practical method of overseeing
and evaluating the nutritional status of individual patients in nursing homes
has been launched.
Speaking at the event, Miss Elizabeth McNair, Director of Nursing and Consumer
Services, Northern Board, said:
“Nursing home staff are the people who are responsible for ensuring that
nursing home residents receive adequate nutrition at a time when they are most
vulnerable to disease and infection. As a result, nutritional screening is essential
to prevent malnutrition in the older person in the care home setting, as is
the subsequent nutritional intervention.
This tool will play an important role in promoting the well-being of residents
and the Board’s commitment to raising quality standards.”
Rose Day, Dietitican, United Hospitals Trust, highlighted the benefits of this
tool for patients and staff:
“The launch of this nutritional screening tool will help nursing home
staff determine if an individual is nutritionally at risk and to put a plan
in place to ensure that the individual’s particular nutritional needs
“It is better to detect and treat sooner rather than later any changes
in weight, appetite, and ability to eat, which can seriously impact on health.
Adequate nutrition is vital for maintaining the health of elderly people and
to contribute to recovery from illness.”
This tool is in line with the Health and Social Services Regulatory and Inspection
Authority’s draft standards for nursing homes which stipulate that a nutritional
screening tool must be employed in the nursing home setting.
Copies of the nutritional screening tool and the associated information can
be obtained by contacting Denise Pemrick, Northern Health and Social Services
Board, tel: 028 2566 7657.
Highlighting the importance of nutrition in nursing homes at a major
(front row, left to right): Ruth Balmer,
Fort Centre, Coleraine; Elizabeth McNair, Director of Nursing & Consumer
Services, NHSSB and Rose Day, United Hospitals Trust.
Back row (left to right) : Michaela Barr, NHSSB; Katherine
Casey, Whiteabbey Hospital; Molly Kane, NHSSB; Julie Thornton, NHSSB and Denise