Of 543 adults screened on admission to mental health units, 19% of individuals were ‘malnourished’ (10% high risk, 9% medium risk). There was no significant difference in prevalence between acute units (16%), long-stay units (19%) and combined acute and long stay units (21%).

About 8 out of 10 units that participated in the 2011 survey reported that they had a screening policy in place. Over 90% of units audited their screening practice, mainly every year. Almost 40% of units had access to a nutrition support team and almost all units had access to nutrition and dietetic services.

65 out of the 67 units reported using a nutrition screening tool and of these ‘MUST’ was used in 75%. Local tools were used in 23% of centres that used a screening tool. Lectures / workshops either alone or in combination with other forms of training were the most commonly used format for training staff on nutritional screening. 10% of units reported receiving no training on nutritional screening.

All mental health units are asked to participate using the the BAPEN Nutritional Care Tool during four weeks throughout the year. Set an aim to complete the tool on all individuals in your care 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

The more you use the tool, the better the quality of the dashboard it will produce; with this in mind, the gold standard would be to use this tool on a monthly basis to collect data over time.