Information for the public

If you are at home

If you need long-term nutrition support, you and your carer should be trained to recognise any problems with your health so that any changes needed can be made to your diet.

Feeding at home

If you are having enteral or parenteral feeding at home, you should be supported by a team of healthcare professionals. This team could be made up of your GP, district nurses or other types of homecare nurses, dietitians, and specialists such as speech and language therapists. They should work with you and your carer to make a care plan suited to your needs. This plan should cover how much feed you need, what it should be made up of, when you should receive it and how your nutrition will be monitored.

Regular checks

Members of your healthcare team should check regularly how you are. The NICE guideline has more details on the specific checks that may need to be carried out, as well as how often they should be done. For example, your temperature should be checked daily in the beginning. You, or your carer, could carry out some of the daily checks.

If you are having parenteral feeding you should also have check-ups at a specialist hospital clinic every 3 to 6 months. Your check-ups could be more frequent during the early months.

Training and information

Special equipment will need to be set up in your home. You and your carer should be given training on how to use it and an instruction manual. You should be given details about delivery of the equipment, the feed, and anything else you might need, including contact details for the company supplying it.

You and your carer should also be given information on:

  • your feeding regimen

  • procedures for the feed

  • common problems and how to deal with them

  • how to use the equipment.

You should also be given telephone numbers to ring if you have any questions, as well as numbers to call in an emergency.

You should be given the opportunity to discuss your needs and your care with your healthcare professional. This includes any physical, psychological and social issues that may be associated with your care. You should also be given contact details for relevant support groups, charities and voluntary organisations in your area.