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Nutrition Standards Released

Nutrition Standards Released

The Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) Nutrition Network today released a new set of food and nutrition care guidelines for NSW Hospitals.

The ACI hosted the formal launch of the Nutrition Standards for Adult Inpatients in NSW Hospitals, Nutrition Standards for Paediatric Patients in NSW Hospitals and Therapeutic Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients at the Kerry Packer Education Centre auditorium, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) on 15 December 2011.

The Hon. Jillian Skinner, Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, formally launched the guidelines, acknowledging the significant impact they will have on food and nutrition care in NSW hospitals.

“We are committed to putting patients first, and the new menu will more effectively account for the differing nutritional needs of patients depending on age, health and condition,” she said.

The standards will set a new benchmark for hospital food and ensure all public hospital patients are offered a choice of high quality, nutritious and appetizing meals that meet their specific needs.”

“Good nutrition is fundamentally important - and even more vital to the care of people who are sick or injured in hospital.”

The new standards include a choice of three to four main meals each day, two to three mid-meals, a choice of two hot meals at least twice a day, desserts twice a day, soup once a day, hot drinks at least four times a day and one high energy snack such as yoghurt, cheese and biscuits or flavoured milk.

The standards also aim to ensure that the food and nutrition provided to patients is carefully planned and prepared to achieve the best health outcomes. This includes making food appetising to encourage eating and support nutrition, a balanced meal including protein, carbohydrates and fats, and making sure that patients get plenty to drink.

The standards are expected to be rolled out across NSW hospitals in the next 18 months.