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HIQA to publish report on nutrition in hospital meals

28 Jan 2016

Pic: Getty Images

HIQA will shortly publish a national overview report on unannounced inspections of hospitals to gauge compliance with nutrition and hydration guidelines, IMT reports.

The public health watchdog last year carried out a number of such unannounced inspections of hospitals to gauge compliance with both new nutrition and hydration guidelines and the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare.

The Authority said it would place significant emphasis on what patients had to say about their experience, as part of this initiative. All public acute hospitals, other than stand-alone maternity and paediatric hospitals, were expected to complete a self-assessment questionnaire and submit it to the Authority. HIQA then carried out unannounced inspections in approximately 13 hospitals to verify results.

Susan Cliffe, Head of Healthcare Regulation, said hospitals were asked at the beginning of the inspection if they wanted the team to visit a particular clinical area to highlight good practice and quality improvement in relation to nutrition and hydration care.

She said: “A national overview report will be published in the second quarter of 2016 to reflect findings of the self-assessment questionnaires and the on-site element of the review.”

The review is part of HIQA’s evolving approach to monitoring providers’ compliance with the National Standards, published in 2012. It aimed to assess if hospitals had the essential elements of good nutrition and hydration care in place with a particular focus on nutrition screening and assessment.

Cliffe said, as part of inspections, HIQA also visited emergency departments and talked to patients — who were deemed admitted and who were waiting for a bed on a ward to become available — about their experience of nutrition.

Lloyd Mudiwa

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times