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  • 1 May 2018 to 30 November 2018
  • Project No: 407
  • Funding round: FR 15

Cini Bhanu, Kalpa Kharichi, Kate Walters, Christina Avgerinou, Amber Appleton.

In later life, people often develop health conditions that affect their ability to remain well and independent. Some may struggle with having less energy, low appetite, less muscle strength and find household tasks like shopping and cooking harder. Having a healthy diet is important to staying well. A diet that lacks nutrients can lead to a person becoming malnourished. Malnutrition is a common condition in later life, which can lead to a person becoming underweight, feeling weak and being more prone to severe illness and hospitalisations. Nutritional difficulties and weight loss can go unnoticed in the early stages as they are not always easy to spot and General Practitioners (GPs) or practice nurses may not have the time or have received training on how to deal with them.

In this study, we aim to gather health professionals’ views about a new service that could be offered through the NHS to older people at risk of malnutrition. We will interview and run discussion groups with GPs, nurses and other professionals about their care for older people who may be finding everyday tasks harder and who are at risk of losing weight. We will ask them how they currently support older patients with reduced appetite and weight loss, how they think this can be improved, what training or guidance they might need, and what care and support they think can be provided within General Practice. We will explore how older people, with the support of their General Practice and/or other community health professionals, could make changes to the way they manage their diet, so that they can maintain a healthy weight and receive all the nutrients they need.

Amount awarded: £55,535.39