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10 Key Characteristics for Good Nutritional Care

Spring is less than a week away and we are witnessing the days getting longer, temperatures warming and plants blossoming. It is the time when we are more likely to to feel more joyful, energetic, and also to focus on our general wellbeing.

Some of the main contributors to our wellbeing are food, nutrition and hydration, which is something we at Kemble at Home deal with on a daily basis. The Nutrition and Hydration Week usually sees many social and health settings sharing their good practice, but one of the more serious elements of the week is to promote the 10 Key Characteristics for Good Nutritional Care. This standard was originally developed in 2003 from a Council of Europe report. It offered an overarching set of principles that were of particular help in developing a patient-focused food and drink strategy.

The 10 key characteristics

1. Screening

Screen all patients and service-users to identify malnourishment or risk of malnourishment and ensure actions are progressed and monitored.

2. Personal care or support plan

Together with each service user, create a personal care/support plan enabling them to have choice and control over their own nutritional care and fluid needs.

3. Provide specific guidance on nutrition and hydration

Care providers should include specific guidance on food and beverage services and other nutritional and hydration care in their service delivery and accountability arrangements.

4. Involve service users in planning their food and fluid intake

People using care services are involved in the planning and monitoring arrangements for food service and drinks provision.

5. ​Provide food and drink in an environment conductive to eating & drinking

Food and drinks should be provided alone or with assistance in an environment conducive to patients being able to consume their food (Protected Mealtimes).

6. All involved receive training on nutrition and hydration

All health care professionals and volunteers receive regular training to ensure they have the skills, qualifications and competencies needed to meet the nutritional and fluid requirements of people using their services.

7. Provision should be centred on the service user up to 24/7 365 days a year

Facilities and services providing nutrition and hydration are designed to be flexible and centred on the needs of the people using them, 24 hours a day, every day.

8. Provider should have a food and fluid policy

All care providers to have a nutrition and hydration policy centred on the needs of users and is performance managed in line with local governance, national standards and regulatory frameworks.

9. Food & drink should be delivered safely

Food, drinks and other nutritional care are delivered safely.

10. Nutrition and hydration is everybody’s responsibility

Care providers should take a multi-disciplinary approach to nutrition and hydration care, valuing the contribution of all staff, people using the service, carers and volunteers working in partnership.

Watch a short video to highlight the things that must be done to ensure good nutrition and hydration.


QCS, 14/03/2017, (http://www.qcs.co.uk/nutrition-hydration-week-2017-13th-19th-march/)

England NHS, 14/03/2017 (https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/nut-hyd/10-key-characteristics/)

#nutrition #hydration #wellbeing #carestandards

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Kemble Care LLP

T/A Kemble at Home

Sigeric Business Park 

Holme Lacy Road

Hereford HR2 6BQ

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