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Food, Nutrition and Hydration Policy For Adult Patients

HSE Acute Operations has developed a Food, Nutrition and Hydration Policy for Adult Patients in Acute Hospitals. A toolkit to support local implementation has also been developed.

The Policy provides a framework for a standardised approach to food and nutritional care provision by all staff.  It encompasses recommendations on nutritional screening and promotes a patient centred approach to delivery of services. It aims to improve the patient’s experience of food and nutritional care in hospital.

Policy Background

The Policy was developed by the HSE in response to a request from the then Minister for Heath, to update the Department of Health: Food and Nutritional Care in Hospitals, Guidelines for Preventing Under-Nutrition in Acute Hospitals (2009). The policy will be supported by a National Clinical Guideline: Nutrition Screening and Use of Oral Nutrition Support for Adults in the Acute Care Setting (Currently in development and expected publication date mid 2019).

Who does the Policy apply to?

The policy applies to all adult patients in Acute Hospitals including Inpatients, Emergency Departments, and Day Procedure Units. All staff involved in the provision of food, nutrition care should use the policy recommendations to review and develop services.

What are the Policy Objectives?

The objectives of the Policy are to:

  1. Improve the quality and safety of food and nutritional care in hospitals
  2. Ensure that areas for improvement as recommended by the Health Information And Quality Authority are addressed
  3. To improve patient experience
  4. To support recommendations from the National Clinical Guideline (NCG) : Nutrition Screening and Use of Oral Nutrition Support in the Acute Care Setting