Skip to main content

Nutrition: Health Services

Volume 494: debated on Friday 19 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the National Patient Safety Agency is taking to improve (a) patient nutrition and (b) reporting of nutrition-related incidents involving patients. (280486)

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) is working with a range of stakeholders including the Department, Welsh Assembly Government, Royal Colleges, professional organisations, and industry to improve patient nutrition.

In April 2009, the NPSA launched the “10 Key Characteristics of Good Nutritional Care” toolkit to assist health and social care providers in the implementation of the good practice. The NPSA has also worked actively with regulators on the development of inspection criteria and guidance for nutrition.

The NPSA has held five workshops between January and March 2009 to engage with primary care organisations and supports the delivery of the Royal College of Nursing “Nutrition Now” workshops. The NPSA has recently part-funded the development of an e-based learning programme related to dysphagia management in partnership with the NHS Core Learning Unit. This includes working with the food industry to improve the quality of texture-modified meals.

In May 2009 the NPSA published an overview of what has been learnt from an analysis of nutrition-related patient safety incidents reported as occurring in England during 2006 and 2007. Data for 2008 are currently under review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of GPs who screen patients upon their first registration in line with the recommendations of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s guidelines on Nutrition Support in Adults. (280490)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has had with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills on inclusion of nutrition-related training in (a) undergraduate and (b) postgraduate courses for health professionals. (280491)

The Department is actively working with the Royal Colleges on the further development of their medical specialties curricula to cover public health content, inclusive of lifestyle determinants of health and wellbeing.

National health service staff knowledge and development related to public health is being furthered through a modular approach to learning by the NHS Core Learning Unit. Modules on public health are accessible through induction training and professional development.