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Clin Nutr. 2002 Aug;21(4):351-4.

Practices in relation to nutritional care and support--report from the Council of Europe.

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  • 1Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Soeborg.


Disease-related undernutrition is significant in European hospitals but is seldom treated. In 1999, the Council of Europe decided to collect information regarding Nutrition programmes in hospitals and for this purpose a network consisting of national experts from 12 of the Partial Agreement member states was established. The aim was to review the current practice in Europe regarding hospital food provision, to highlight deficiencies and to issue recommendations in improve the nutritional care and support of hospitalised patients. The data collection regarding the nutritional care providers and their practices of nutritional care and support showed that the use of nutritional risk screening and assessment, and of nutritional support and counselling was sparse and inconsistent, and that the responsibilities in these contexts were unclear. Besides, the educational level with regard to nutritional care and support was limited at all levels. All patients have the right to expect that their nutritional needs will be fulfilled during a hospitalisation. Optimal supply of food is a prerequisite for an optimal effect of the specific treatment offered to patients. Hence, the responsibilities of staff categories and the hospital management with respect to procuring nutritional care and support should be clearly assigned. Also, a general improvement in the educational level of all staff groups is needed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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