McCarthy shocked at hospital malnutrition risk for older people

Alliance Party Health Spokesperson Kieran McCarthy expressed shock at the findings of a report which stated that nine out of ten nurses say they do not have enough time to check that hospital patients eat their food properly. The report, which was published today by Age Concern, suggested that this is the reason why six out of ten older patients are at risk of becoming malnourished while in hospital.

The Strangford Assembly Member said: “The findings of this Age Concern report are shocking. It is disgraceful that older people are at risk from malnutrition because nine out of ten nurses do not have enough time to check that hospital patients have eaten food properly, due to time pressures.

“Malnutrition itself costs the UK £7.3 billion per year and malnourished patients stay in hospital much longer, therefore the government must act now to safeguard the health of older patients and eradicate the cost of treating patients who are malnourished.

“The government must address this situation before a tragedy occurs here. Further funding for nursing staff must be provided for Northern Ireland as a matter of urgency. The government must recruit more nurses here and must ensure that staff cover is sufficient to allow nurses to check that patients can eat their food properly.”


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