‘Shortcomings’ in how hospitals manage risk of malnutrition

The State’s health services watchdog found shortcomings in how three major acute hospitals in Dublin and Limerick identified and managed patients at risk of malnutrition and dehydration.
‘Shortcomings’ in how hospitals manage risk of malnutrition

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) published reports yesterday on unannounced inspections made last August in Tallaght Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, and University Hospital Limerick.

Inspectors who visited the two Dublin hospitals found that patients were only screened for malnutrition on admission to some of the wards and that weekly rescreening of patients was not always carried out.

They found that Tallaght Hospital had not audited the nutrient content and portion sizes of meals, as recommended in the national guidelines.

Patients in both hospitals said they did not always get the meals they ordered. A patient on a texture modified diet in Tallaght Hospital was given the wrong meal.

Inspectors found that University Hospital Limerick routinely screened patients for the risk of malnutrition within 24 hours of admission and had implemented screening on all wards.

However, weekly re-screening was not always carried out at the hospital.

Inspectors found that not all patients at the Limerick hospital needing help with their meals received it promptly.

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