Information for the public

Your care

Your care

Your treatment and care should take into account your individual needs and preferences. You should have the opportunity to make informed decisions and choices throughout your care and treatment. Your needs may change and you should have the opportunity to reassess and revisit the decisions you have made.

The Department of Health has issued guidance on patient consent and competence – 'Reference guide to consent for examination or treatment' (2001) (available from The General Medical Council has also issued advice on this subject (available from

Good communication between you and your healthcare professionals is essential. It should be supported with evidence-based written information tailored to your needs. Treatment and care, and the information you 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 move from one place of care to another.