Barbara attended an event in Parliament with members of the Salford Malnutrition Task Force. The event was held to look at ways to tackle the issue of malnutrition in older people.
It is a little known fact that over 1.3 million older people are at risk of malnutrition, most of whom live in their own homes. In Salford, almost 5,000 people over 65 may be at risk. Malnutrition is a major cause and consequence of poor health and older people are particularly vulnerable. Yet, in many cases, malnutrition is preventable.
Members of the Salford Malnutrition Task Force are drawn from organisations across health, social care, and charities like Age UK. They are looking at how to address avoidable and preventable malnutrition in older people.
“The Malnutrition Task Force event in Parliament was useful to help MPs understand the issues, and it was good to meet the team from the Salford Task Force. It is very worrying that 1.3 million people over-65 are at risk from malnutrition, including 5,000 in Salford. We were alerted to the problem through Salford Royal reporting 193 cases of malnutrition among people admitted to the hospital. In fact, a survey carried out in 2012-13 highlighted the fact that malnutrition is a significant problem affecting the vast majority of NHS hospital trusts in England.
“It was found that health and social care organisations were repeatedly failing to provide older people with the basic right of food and drink. More than one in three patients who need assistance did not receive sufficient help to eat their meals. It was also found that people over-80 and those with a long-standing illness or disability were among the worst affected.
“The Salford Task Force are carrying out important work on malnutrition and it was good to meet the team from Age UK Salford, Salford Royal Hospital and Salford Clinical Commissioning Group who are all working together. I plan to meet the team again in Salford soon to talk about ways I can support their work.”