BSNA Stand at BAPEN DOB and MJ

Posted on: December 08, 2023

Demanding more on nutritional care: BAPEN 2023 Annual Conference, Edinburgh (28-29 November 2023)

On 28-29 November 700 delegates ascended to Edinburgh to attend the BAPEN 2023 Annual Conference. The conference, hosted by the British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN),), brought together leading multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals, patient groups, industry and networks from across the UK to share leading nutritional research and advances in practice.

The Opening Plenary was led by Trevor Smith, who stepped down as BAPEN President on the 28 November with Dr Nick Thompson, a Consultant Gastroenterologist in Newcastle upon Tyne, taking over the role. During his time as BAPEN President, Trevor raised the profile of BAPEN enormously, bringing the patients’ voice into the organisation. Trevor Smith announced the formation of the BAPEN Patient Network Group (PNG) to build upon and improve the support available to patients. This group will be Chaired by Carolyn Wheatly, Chair of PINNT, the long-established support group for people receiving artificial nutrition.

The Opening Plenary also covered some highly engaging topics, including a presentation by Barry Jones discussing the Covid pandemic 4 years on. This was followed by oral abstract presentations covering ‘Malnutrition in emergency general surgery’, ‘Parenteral nutrition (PN) use post cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC)’ and ‘Implementing nutritional screening in conjunction with frailty assessment in older adult Outpatients’. Sustainability was recognised as an important topic throughout the whole conference with Richard Smith, Chair of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change (UKHACC) announcing that BAPEN is now a member of the alliance, which brings together a range of healthcare professionals to advocate for change within the healthcare sector amidst the ongoing climate and ecological crisis.

Sessions throughout the two-day conference covered important topics including ‘Optimising nutritional care’, ‘NHS Impact ‘Improving Patient Care Together’, ‘Prescribing in Nutrition Support’, ‘Optimising Access for Nutrition Support’ as well as ‘Making the EFFORT to Optimise Nutrition on the ICU’ and ‘blended diets’.

BAPEN 2023 truly highlighted how healthcare professionals and stakeholders can come together to improve practice and education. BSNA and many of its members were present, displaying an engaging exhibition hall.

Nutricia sponsored a Breakfast Symposium, chaired by Anne Holdoway, which covered sustainability by discussing simple recycling initiatives in practice and the development of plant based tube feeds due to demand from patients for sustainability, health and veganism/vegetarian reasons.

Delegates who attended the conference were able to learn from leading experts and discover new concepts that support clinical practice. The conference had many opportunities for education, learning, development and networking, including listening to the poster sessions which took place over the two days to hear about the latest research.

With the conference taking place in Edinburgh, what better entertainment than a traditional Scottish Ceilidh for the evening social event. The dinner and Ceilidh took place in the beautiful and very festive Ghillie Dhu where everyone who attended got involved and the night ending with the classic ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

The take home message from BAPEN 2023 is that nutritional care needs to be optimised and that we need to be doing more: more to push nutrition higher up the agenda, more to screen and recognise malnutrition, more to educate healthcare professionals across all disciplines, , more to engage with the patient and more to create sustainable practice. Healthcare professionals, Trusts, patients, and industry all need to work together to do more.

We also look to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to do more in its role to put science and evidence at the heart of health and care decision making for the benefit of those at risk of or experiencing malnutrition. Now is the time for NICE to review and update its Nutrition support in adults Quality Standard [QS24], developed in 2006 and updated in 2012, to ensure it reflects the most up to date clinical evidence and effective practice.

BAPEN 2023 set a challenge to demand more action on malnutrition – we look forward to working with our colleagues involved in nutritional care to see real progress ahead of BAPEN 2024 in Gateshead Newcastle!

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