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Volume 494: debated on Thursday 25 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 26 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1028-29W, on malnutrition, in what ways the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition's recent report has contributed to his Department's work on (a) Dignity in Care, (b) Healthy Start, (c) Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives and (d) other relevant workstreams; and if he will make a statement. (279371)

The British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition report launched January 2009 has contributed to the work of the Nutrition Action Plan Delivery Board; working to improve nutrition and Dignity in Care in adult social care settings and which in turn has underlined the importance in effective delivery of Healthy Start and the Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking in co-operation with other Government departments and agencies to reduce levels of malnutrition. (281244)

The Department and the Nutrition Summit Stakeholder Group which comprised members from other Government Departments and key agencies collaborated to produce The Nutrition Action Plan 2008. This joint plan collectively addresses nutritional care within hospitals, care homes and the community through the provision of ample and nourishing food, help with eating, modified diets and specialist tube feeding.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department has issued to NHS bodies on the diagnosis of malnutrition. (281245)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued clinical guidelines to national health service bodies on Nutrition Support in Adults in February 2006. This covered the care of patients with malnutrition or at risk of malnutrition, both in hospital or at home. In addition, British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) has developed guidance to help hospitals and primary care trusts (PCTs) develop their infrastructure to deliver improved food and nutrition support services.

The Malnutrition Advisory Group, a standing committee of BAPEN published its second nutrition screening report on 12 May 2009. MUST is a five-step screening tool to identify adults, who are malnourished, at risk of malnutrition (undernutrition) or obese. It also includes management guidelines which can be used to develop a care plan. It is used in hospitals, community and other care settings and can be used by all care workers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the cost to the NHS of treating diseases related to malnutrition in the last year for which figures are available. (281246)