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Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued to NHS organisations on obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998 to provide appropriate nutritional care. (212195)

In March 2007 the Department of Health published “Human Rights in Healthcare—A Framework for Local Action” which raised awareness of human rights in general including the Human Rights Act 1998 and also addressed how national health service trusts could use a human rights based approach to improve service design and delivery, including the right to food.

Individual nutritional care is addressed at a local level, with each NHS trust setting its own policies of nutritional care in hospitals and out reach care. I launched the Nutrition Action Plan in October 2007, setting out a range of resources, guidance and best practice on how to improve nutrition delivered in health and social care settings. A Nutrition Action Plan Delivery Board has been established to steer implementation of the document, which is chaired by Gordon Lishman, Director General of Age Concern.