Preventing malnutrition in later life

Kent

Area

Kent is a large county with a population of approximately 1.5 million. Its population has been steadily increasing in recent years, suggesting that the proportion of those in need of nutritional support will increase also.

Kent has a number of large towns, but the majority of the county is rural which in turn brings its own challenges when addressing malnutrition and social isolation.

See Kent County Council’s ‘Population and Census‘ page on their website for more information.

Aim

The main aim of the Kent pilot is to raise awareness of malnutrition in the local area.

An information sharing event is due to be held in early October 2014. The event will seek to bring together and map the nutritional services available in the community and share information about how malnutrition can be tackled in Kent.

Participating Organisations

A number of stakeholders involved in Kent healthcare have come together for the pilot:

  • Kent County Council
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Age UK Maidstone
  • Age UK Herne Bay
  • Age UK Faversham
  • Apetito
  • Royal Voluntary Service
  • Kent County Council Integrated Care Centres
  • Local Clinical Commissioning Groups

Projects and Progress (as of April 2015)

Launch

  • Held a launch day in October 2014 where awareness was raised about malnutrition in the community and attendees were inspired to make small changes within their organisations

Awareness Raising Campaign

  • Ran an awareness raising campaign to increase the profile of malnutrition as an issue, and to create a community-based force for change
  • Did this as Kent is a large county with diverse communities and the extent of malnutrition was not known
  • Held two awareness raising events to bring people together and share knowledge
  • Created a ‘call to act’ with participants pledging to take action

Age UK BMI Project

  • Local Age UKs noted that older people who attended their day centres, lunch clubs and those receiving domiciliary care could be at risk of malnutrition
  • They took to  weighing some of those ‘at risk’ on a weekly basis to test the assumptions
  • Interventions likes meals on wheels and advice on healthy eating have been delivered  where low weight or weight loss is an issue
  • People who have taken part have put on weight and are glad to be part of the scheme
  • This approach to weight testing is now being rolled out in other services and within other local Age UKs across Kent
  • Age UKs and community based dieticians are now working on a toolkit together to share the results
  • Click here for the video

Residential Home Project

  • Idea stemmed from the launch event after care home staff were enthused by what they saw
  • A half day training session to all care home staff will be rolled out in 2015

Contact

Please note: the contacts below cannot provide medical advice. If you are concerned that you or someone you care for may be malnourished, please contact your GP.

For more information about the pilot project or to get involved, please contact:

Martin Field, Commissioning Officer – Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, Kent County Council
Email: Martin.Field@kent.gov.uk

 

 

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