Care homes across Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland can now take advantage of a new training package to help them prevent undernutrition.
The Focus on Undernutrition package is commissioned by Middlesbrough Council Public Health and delivered by the health improvement team at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is designed to improve nutrition and reduce the cost of supplying supplements to care home residents.
The package is designed to provide training for everyone from the home manager to the chefs, care assistants and domestics, taking into account every member of staff’s role within the home in preventing undernutrition.
Carolyn Hill, health trainer said: “Undernutrition can occur as a result of many factors but the earlier it is identified the easier it is to treat.
“This is addressed by effective use of our malnutrition universal screening tool, following a standard care plan and supplying those residents identified early as at risk with fortified everyday meals, snacks and drinks.
“Working with care homes to identify the risk of undernutrition is very important in ensuring delivery of good quality and longer lasting care. The benefits to the quality of life for residents are endless. The package not only looks at the practices of the home, but also addresses training needs and supports the implementation of new ways of working.”
Chris Churchill, manager of Belle Vue Care Home, the first Focus on Undernutrition accredited care home in Middlesbrough said: “The Focus on Undernutrition course has been very beneficial to both the residents and staff.
“It has given our staff the knowledge and skills to monitor each resident’s weight and put in place the nutritional needs of individuals when required. The course has been worthwhile and I would like to congratulate all my staff on achieving this award.”
Fiona Vause, operational manager for nutrition and dietetics added: “The six-week catering course included as part of the Focus on Undernutrition package is invaluable in providing the home with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver a food first approach to nutritional care.”