This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of adults who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.
Treatment and care should take into account patients' needs and preferences. People with malnutrition should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their health professionals. When patients do not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent and the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act. In Wales, healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh Government.
Good communication between healthcare professionals and patients is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based written information tailored to the patient's needs. Treatment and care, and the information patients are given about it, should be culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English.
Carers and relatives should have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about the patient's care and treatment, if the patient agrees to this. Carers and relatives should also be given the information and support they need.
Recommendations in this guideline apply to all patients with malnutrition or at risk of malnutrition, whether they are in hospital or at home. Good coordination between the hospital and the home or community is needed when patients are transferred between settings.