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The guide is part of the Authority’s review of nutrition and hydration in public acute hospitals. The review will use self-assessment as well as unannounced inspections of a number of care environments.
“In addition to clinical consequences, there are also economic consequences,” said Phelim Quinn, HIQA’s Chief Executive
“In 2007, annual healthcare costs associated with malnourished Irish patients were estimated to be over 1.4 billion, representing more than 10% of the healthcare budget that year. In Ireland, it is estimated that 140,000 adults are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition at any given time.
“Malnutrition affects more than one in four patients admitted to Irish hospitals and compromises the quality of life for patients; it affects recovery and causes unnecessary illness and death.”
HIQA says the aim of this programme is to assessif hospitals have the essential elements of good nutrition and hydration care in place with a particular focus on nutrition screening and assessment. Inspection teams will visit hospital wards during mealtimes to see first-hand if patients get good quality meals, a choice of food and that they are helped with eating when necessary.
All public acute hospitals in the country, other than stand-alone maternity and paediatric hospitals, will be expected to complete a self-assessment questionnaire and submit it to the Authority. HIQA will then carry out unannounced inspections in approximately 13 hospitals to verify results in order to gain an understanding of how nutrition and hydration care in the hospital is delivered and how this is experienced by patients at any given time.