Independence Day: Reinventing health and social care – Hearing One

Why Nutricia supports Independence Day by Kate Hall

Nutricia is delighted to support the Independence Day Hearing on 21st November entitled ‘How to tackle the pressures on NHS and social care budgets given the UK’s ageing population’. There are estimated to be more than three million people (approximately 5% of the population) who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition in the UK at any given time. An ageing population combined with an increase in medical conditions associated with malnutrition, such as dementia, means the challenge for society to address this issue has never been greater.

Effective prevention and management strategies are needed to help people stay independent for longer, whether it be in their own home or in a care setting. Malnutrition is estimated to cost the UK in excess of £13 billion each year (Elia M and Russell CA, Combating Malnutrition, BAPEN 2009). However NICE indicates that through implementation of its clinical guidelines (CG32) the early identification and appropriate treatment of malnutrition could improve quality of life and save around £70,000 per 100,000 people . Achieving this however will require continued innovation and collaboration across health and social care. The Malnutrition Taskforce only this year launched some comprehensive implementation guides on the management of malnutrition in each of the different care settings. In addition to this, we have been working with Carers UK on educational materials and resources for carers regarding how to eat well and what constitutes good nutrition.

This first Independence Day hearing will encourage questions to be asked and concerns to be raised, and hopefully possible solutions to be suggested for addressing the wide-spread healthcare issues resulting from endemic malnutrition across the care settings’. Moreover,  with the week of the 18th November being Self Care week and the theme being “Self care for life – take control” this hearing will be very timely.

Kate Hall, External Affairs Manager, Nutricia