A poll of 1,000 nurses for Age UK found just under a third did not feel confident that malnutrition would be noticed by staff.
Fewer than half said their hospital screened patients on arrival, as guidelines recommend.
Age UK has published a report Still Hungry to Be Heard – The scandal of people in later life becoming malnourished in hospital four years after the last campaign ‘Hungry to be heard’.
Age UK’s seven steps to end the scandal of malnutrition in hospital
Hospital staff must listen to us, our relatives and our carers
All ward staff must become food-aware
Hospital staff must follow their own professional codes
We must be assessed for the signs or risk of malnourishment
Hospitals should introduce ‘protected mealtimes’
Hospitals should implement a ‘red tray’ system
Hospitals should use trained volunteers where appropriate
It’s not rocket science; it’s basic care. It would be a positive demonstration of caring care if our government introduced compulsory monitoring of nutrition/malnutrition in hospitals. And compulsory monitoring of the care and attention needed by people with dementia when they are in hospital wouldn’t go amiss either.
From The Seven Ages of Man, via the Seven Stages of Dementia, to the Seven steps to end the scandal of malnutrition in hospital.
More on the power of seven another day. And a promise to those of you who have demonstrated that you care, there will be more about the Nuns who fled from the prospect of being placed into residential care, far away from where they would have chosen to live. I’m watching you, Sisters, past and present and future. There is more to come, but meanwhile, I’m off!! To distant climes, and for a spell of relaxation. Miss me, perhaps! Or not, as the case may be. It may not make one iota of difference to you or to me, while I am in far off regions. Close to the powerful Nuns, but not that close.
The Seven Ages of Man
performed by John Gielgud
from a recording made circa 1930
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then, a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the canon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big, manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange, eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
Jaques (As You Like It – Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166)