In the BAPEN national nutrition screening weeks, malnutrition was found to be a major social health problem affecting 35% of care home residents; the majority of residents were high risk requiring treatment.

'MUST' was the screening tool of choice in the majority of care homes. The survey showed that there is room for improvement in key aspects of nutritional care, such as the awareness about the existence of weighing scale standards (only 56% reported awareness in 2011) and audits on nutritional screening; one quarter of care homes did not undertake audits on nutritional screening. It is also crucial to ensure that residents who are malnourished have an individualised nutritional care plan which is properly implemented. Monitoring residents nutritional care, including tracking weight and weight changes over time are also important. A key element of this tool is the resident experience section which will support care homes to ensure that residents are requiring sufficient support to meet their nutritional needs.

BAPEN has designed the nutritional care tool to be suitable for care homes and the tool had been extensively tested in care homes. Some care homes reported difficulties recording a residents diagnosis so we have added an option to 'opt out' of this question by selecting 'not available'.

The BAPEN nutritional care tool has been designed to support care homes to:
I) measure the quality of nutritional care provided
2) identify areas of best practice
3) highlight where variation exists between homes

All care homes are asked to participate during four weeks throughout the year. Set an aim to complete the tool on all residents during these weeks;

The four weeks selected are:-

Week commencing 12th December 2016

Week commencing 13th March 2017

Week commencing 12th June 2017

Week commencing 11th September 2017