A Holistic Approach to Nutrition and Diet in Palliative Care

Leader(s)Agata Czerwinska, Jill Souter and Sarah Cooley
LocationDorothy House Hospice
DurationNovember 2013 – February 2016
Received for PublicationApril 2016

Enabling change that meets the needs of patients and carers and is accepted and built into practice by a multi-professional team is always a challenge. This report describes the journey undertaken by a multi-professional group working in a local hospice who used a practice development approach to ensure that they assessed and met the nutritional needs of patients and carers in an effective, holistic way. Drawing on a strong team ethos and commitment to meeting patients’ needs across all disciplines in the hospice, they listened to patient and carers’ experiences. This led them to develop an assessment tool for nutritional care (PLANC) that assessed the needs of both patients and their carers. It was audited and found to be more appropriate for use in palliative care than the MUST tool (malnutrition universal screening tool) currently in use. The practice development approach also led to unforeseen and beneficial changes in communication with the kitchen staff and the provision of food across the hospice.

This project was supported by the Foundation of Nursing Studies Patients First Programme in partnership with the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

Since the completion of this report, the tools have been further refined and it is planned that they will stay under review. For more information and an up-to-date version of the tool, contact Jill Souter: [email protected]

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