Development of the Older People's Essential Nutrition (OPEN) toolkit is part of the work of the Wessex AHSN Nutrition in Older People Programme, with support from a range of stakeholders in the health, social care and voluntary sectors.
The Wessex AHSN has put together a toolkit as part of the project, with the aim of sharing the resources developed during the project with other organisations that may be planning similar training or initiatives. The overall aim of this innovative project is to develop and evaluate an approach for the provision of good nutritional care for older people; by providing undernutrition awareness training and follow up support to a range of sectors to provide a collaborative and joined-up approach to tackling undernutrition in older people.
By using this toolkit in your area, you will be working towards best practice in undernutrition screening and providing good nutritional care across all settings, as outlined in the key national guidance (NICE) and standards which have been published since 2008 to present. A multi-disciplinary approach has supported the development of the toolkit, and the toolkit has been endorsed by the British Dietetic Association (BDA).
The toolkit itself has been split into four main sections:
1) Training packages for health, social care and voluntary sectors with a community setting focus - a separate guidance document has been produced with information about how to use these. Please note that each training toolkit is available from the 'resources' section, and will download as a .zip file for your convenience. Use WinZip (often installed as standard on PCs) or Windows Explorer to open, extract and save the files. Should you encounter any problems, please click the Contact Us button below.
2) Awareness materials - we have produced three undernutrition leaflets (a general 'OPEN' undernutrition leaflet, a leaflet specifically for people with dementia and a leaflet specifically for people with COPD) and a set of three posters to raise awareness about undernutrition and how it can be treated. These resources are suitable for the general public or for anyone working with older people to give out to people at risk of undernutrition. The posters and three leaflets can be downloaded as PDFs from our 'resources' section or by accessing Slideshare using the following links (you will need a Slideshare of LinkedIn account if you wish to download them as PDFs):
OPEN Undernutrition Awareness Leaflet
Eating & Drinking Well: Supporting people with dementia Leaflet
Eating well: Guidance for people living with COPD
Eating Well Feeling Good Poster
Spotting Signs of Weight Loss Poster
Tips for Eating More Poster
We have also been working with our partners across Wessex to streamline the resources used in the community (e.g. those given out by community nurses and staff in general practice). In April 2018, we published a 2-page (or double-sided) easy print A4 version of our OPEN undernutrition leaflet. A PDF version can be downloaded from the 'resources' section.
3) Generic undernutrition care pathways, which can be adapted for your locality; localisation of the care pathways is required to ensure local flavour and adoption. These generic pathways can be downloaded from our 'resources' section or by accessing Slideshare using the following link (you will need a Slideshare of LinkedIn account if you wish to download a PDF version): Generic Undernutrition Care Pathways by Wessex AHSN
4) Evaluation framework (for information on the evaluation framework, please click here). The evaluation framework can be downloaded from our 'resources' section or by accessing Slideshare using the following link (you will need a Slideshare of LinkedIn account if you wish to download if a PDF version): Evaluation Toolkit by Wessex AHSN
OPEN Training Videos: Undernutrition awareness
The Wessex AHSN has also produced an OPEN undernutrition awareness training video, which is suitable for viewing either as an individual or in a group as part of a training session. The OPEN undernutrition awareness training video is available as a whole film
, or in 8 individual parts for easier digestion (the links to the individual parts can be found below). To access the consolidation quizzes referred to in this video, please select the link below which best fits your role (the link will open a PDF file).
- Healthy ageing and good nutrition
- Definition and prevalence of malnutrition
- Causes & consequences of malnutrition, and where to go for help
- Signs of malnutrition
- What you can do to support someone
- Resources and materials available
- Recap and knowledge check
Consolidation quizzes (to complete at the end of the video(s) to check your knowledge and understanding:
OPEN Training Videos: Screening using 'MUST'
The Wessex AHSN has produced a 23-minute training video to support you in screening and care planning using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (‘MUST’): How to screen for undernutrition using 'MUST' video
. The video has a particular focus on calculating the ‘MUST’ score within community-dwelling older adults. As this video builds on the content from our ‘OPEN undernutrition awareness training video’ (see section below), we recommend you view this video first (or the video in 8 parts) to provide the appropriate background and context around undernutrition in older people. This video is suitable for viewing either as an individual or in a group as part of a training session.
The hydration toolkit has been designed for staff in care homes and carers in the community. It provides a practical guide to help them assist older people in their care to achieve optimum hydration. The toolkit has been developed through collaboration between Kent Surrey and Sussex AHSN, Wessex AHSN and North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). We hope the toolkit will inspire all those who read it to promote the importance of good hydration among older people and have the satisfaction of helping the individuals they care for achieve this aim.The Hydration Toolkit itself can be downloaded by accessing Slideshare, using the following link: Hydration Toolkit by Wessex AHSN
Some of the information included in the hydration toolkit is based on the resources developed for the 'HYDRATE in care homes' project commissioned by North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG in 2014. An evaluation of this project was published by Kent Surrey and Sussex AHSN in April 2017; this evaluation report can be downloaded from the 'resources' section to the right.
Useful Resources from other Organisations
- Nourish Resource Pack - A novel, practical and engaging new resource for care homes, the Nourish Resource Pack has been produced by a multi-disciplinary team. The pack aims to promote relevant health messages to improve health and wellbeing in care home residents, and provide a range of activities for residents, staff and visitors to enjoy. To download the Nourish Resource Pack PDF please click here.
- Dementia awareness workbook (Bournemouth University) - Bournemouth University has produced a workbook and training film to equip frontline nurses and care home staff with the skills needed to improve the delivery of nutrition and hydration for people living with dementia. For more information, please click here.
- Dairy Council resources - The Dairy Council produce a range of publications which are free to download and order; in particular the 'Bring It Back' leaflet and postcard sets. These resources are part of the Dairy Council's campaign on undernutrition in older people. The leaflet addresses who is at risk, how to identify signs of weight loss, support around eating and where to go for help. The four colourful postcards highlight some key messages and include helpful suggestions such as recipes to try.
- 'NRICH' Care Home Resource Pack - This resource pack, produced by Western Sussex Dietitians, is specifically aimed at improving screening and treatment of older people living in care homes. To download the 'NRICH' resource pack, please click here.
- BAPEN E-learning Portal - BAPEN has created an e-learning portal containing modules designed for doctors, nurses, dietitians and other health and social care professionals. This tool is best suited to trained professionals. These modules are free for any staff working within the NHS. The staff outside the NHS, please visit BAPEN's Managed Learning Environment page for more information.
- BAPEN Nutritional Care Tool - This tool is free to use for NHS and social care organisations. It enables you to input screening data (using 'MUST') and aims to help you make improvements in nutritional care whilst the patient / client is still in your care. For more information, please click here.
- BAPEN Malnutrition Self-Screening Tool - BAPEN has a new Malnutrition Self-Screening Tool to help combat undernutrition. The free to use, web-based tool, is designed to help adults living in the community identify their own risk of undernutrition. It is based on weight status and history of weight loss using the criteria included in the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool ('MUST'). The tool also provides basic information and advice for improving nutritional intake and the recommendation to seek further advice from a healthcare professional. Self-screening could help in the prevention and management of undernutrition, thus preventing unnecessary suffering and unnecessary GP consultation and hospital admissions.
- Malnutrition Task Force - As part of their 'Malnutrition Prevention Programme', the Malnutrition Task Force has drawn up a series of guides to help professionals in local communities, care homes and elsewhere to make changes to tackle undernutrition. These guides can be downloaded here.