As people age the food that is eaten continues to be important for good health. On admission and then monthly nutritional screening takes place. This helps to identify individuals at risk of malnutrition. Care homes have guidelines on how to refer and manage nutritional issues. A dietitian is assigned to each care home. They can be contacted by phone or email.
A resident is referred via the electronic referral form which is emailed to the dietetic service. We will have an initial conversation with staff to discuss the referral. We may signpost to the nutrition resource folder for support.
If a resident requires oral nutritional supplements (ONS) the dietitian will arrange for samples to be sent to the care home. It these are tolerated a month's supply will be issued via the NPO system. If a further supply is appropriate the care home will complete the NPO form. This is emailed to the NPO team. ONS should only be used for a short period of time and when food fortification has been trialled.
Dietitians also provide nutrition education to Care Home staff. This includes nutritional screening, food fortification, dementia, swallowing issues, diabetes and weight management.
This Resource Folder should be used in conjunction with the Care Inspectorate Document, Eating and Drinking Well in Care: Good Practice Guidance for Older People which provides more detailed information about nutritional care in care homes.