Putting nutrition at the heart of patient care – A manifesto for Specialist Nutrition


BSNA has today published our Manifesto for Specialist Nutrition 2019. The Association is calling on all parties to ensure that their health and care policies place nutrition at the heart of patient care.

With at least 3 million people in the UK affected by malnutrition and the number of admissions to hospital for malnutrition having doubled in the last ten years, greater leadership in ensuring nutritional care is put at the heart of patient care is needed.

BSNA is therefore calling for the appointment of a National Clinical Director for Nutrition to prioritise nutrition across NHS and social care settings and a clinical lead for nutrition at local level.  Local decisions on prescribing must also recognise current guidance to reduce unwarranted variation.

 For patients with coeliac disease, access to prescribed products supports their adherence to a gluten-free diet.

Good nutrition during early life plays a key role in determining lifelong health. BSNA members recognise breastfeeding is the best way to feed an infant and is important for both mother and baby’s health and wellbeing.

However, when a mother cannot, or chooses not to breastfeed, bottle feeding with a scientifically developed formula milk is the only suitable and safe alternative to breastmilk.  BSNA members believe that parents should be respected and supported in their decision on how to feed their baby.

Commercial baby foods have been designed to offer parents a healthy alternative to general foods when feeding infants. BSNA members seek to work collaboratively with Government and PHE, so that parents are confident in the industry’s contribution to a healthy start in life for infants and young children. Government must take a ‘whole diet’ approach to childhood obesity, recognising the positive role commercial baby foods can provide in the nourishment of children.

The specialist nutrition industry helps people to be healthy, survive and thrive at every stage of their lives.  There is a real opportunity for the next Government to maximise the value of specialist nutrition in providing good care across the NHS and social care.  This manifesto sets out the necessary changes that need to be made for that to happen.

 The full manifesto can be read here