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East Lancashire CCG Dietitian and Assistants highlight their role in preventing malnutrition as part of Dietitians Week 2018

Members of the Nutrition Support Team at East Lancashire CCG will be promoting the initiative to prevent malnutrition across Rossendale and highlighting the bigger role they could be playing in saving the NHS money and improving patients’ lives, as part of the fifth annual Dietitians Week, June 4-8 this year.

Malnutrition affects over three million people around the UK and is estimated to cost the NHS and wider economy over £19 billion every year in England alone. Having recognised that something needed to be done to tackle this issue, East Lancashire CCG implemented a nutrition support team to improve the recognition and treatment of malnutrition.

The team will be holding a drop-in on Thursday 7th June between 10am and 3pm at Asda in Rawtenstall. You can also find out more information about the work of the Nutrition Support Team by following them on Twitter throughout the week @ELMMB and using the #elccgnutrition

Clinical Lead Dietitian Heather Nunn said:

“Malnutrition is an often an under-recognised problem, which makes people more susceptible to illness, keeps them in hospital for longer and lowers quality of life. It’s a problem that can be prevented, and our initiative uses an evidence-based approach and the skills of dietitians and assistants to spot malnutrition and help people to gain weight and recover more quickly.”

The East Lancashire CCG Nutrition Support Team also support the training of other healthcare professionals to recognise and screen for malnutrition so that those most at risk can be identified early and referred to specialist dietetic care. Once in the care of dietitians, people can be assisted to gain weight through a variety of interventions, taking into account people’s possible loss of appetite, other health conditions and personal tastes amongst other factors. They may also be given information about other local services and support groups to help increase their intake and achieve dietary goals.

In certain circumstances a nutrition product may be recommended in addition to dietary changes. These are intended to be taken for a short time only and can only be prescribed to people who are being monitored by a dietitian. The Nutrition Support Team also plays a role in ensuring the appropriate prescribing of these products advising GP’s in Rossendale when they should be prescribed.