Malnourished patients could be misclassified due to scales

13/05/2009 - 00:00
BAPEN’s second Nutrition Screening Week Survey Report has found that weighing scales are not being calibrated on a regular basis, which means many patients are at risk of being misclassified as malnourished or not.

The report revealed that the regulating of scales was more likely to occur in care homes than hospitals and least likely to happen in mental health units. Co-lead of the report, Professor Marinos Elia explained more: "It is vital that accurate information is collected on weight so that the risk of malnutrition for every individual can be measured accurately and appropriate care plans implemented. That cannot happen if scales are not calibrated on a regular basis." Professor Elia warned that hospitals, care homes and mental health units that are not checking scales regularly are failing to meet national recommendations and ignoring a Department of Health alert. Christine Russell another co-lead of the report said another issue raised concern. She said: "One other area of major concern revealed in BAPEN's report is that some hospitals and mental health units are still failing routinely and consistently to include information on malnutrition risk or status on discharge. Nutrition information should be 'handed on' as individuals transfer from one care setting to another." Download the full report below.

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