The Older People's Essential Nutrition (OPEN) toolkit was developed as an output from the OPEN Eastleigh project, which was part of the Wessex AHSN Nutrition in Older People Programme (2014-2018). It was developed and tested with support from a range of stakeholders in the health, social care and voluntary sectors.
The aims of the toolkit are:
To share the resources developed during the OPEN project with other organisations that may be planning similar training or initiatives
To provide accessible 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. The toolkit has been endorsed by the British Dietetic Association (BDA).
The toolkit itself has been split into five 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 - The following materials are all available to download as PDFs from the 'resources' section on the right. You can also click on the link, which takes you to SlideShare (you will need a Slideshare of LinkedIn account if you wish to download them as PDFs from these SlideShare)
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 from these sites): 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
5) Training Videos - Wessex AHSN has produced two training videos - one on general undernutrition entitled the 'OPEN undernutrition awareness training video' and one on how to screen using 'MUST', entitled 'How to screen for undernutrition using 'MUST' video'. Both videos are suitable for viewing either as an individual or in a group as part of a group training session.
OPEN undernutrition awareness training video - this can be downloaded 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 which best fits your role (the link will open a PDF file: Consolidation quiz for carers and volunteers or Consolidation quiz for trained health and social care professionals, and care home staff)
- 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
How to screen for undernutrition using 'MUST' - this 23-minute training video to supports you in screening and care planning using 'MUST' (Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool). 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.
Useful Resources from other Organisations
- Nourish Resource Pack - A novel, practical and engaging resource for care homes, which 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
- Dementia Resources (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
- Dairy Council resources - a range of resources are free to download and order; in particular the 'Bring It Back' leaflet and 4-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 colourful postcards highlight some key messages and include recipes to try
- 'NRICH' Care Home Resource Pack - a resource pack produced by Western Sussex Dietitians, specifically aimed at improving screening and treatment of older people living in care homes
- BAPEN E-learning Portal - this contains modules designed for trained professionals including doctors, nurses, dietitians and other health and social care professionals. These modules are free for anyone 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
- BAPEN Malnutrition Self-Screening Tool - this 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
- Malnutrition Task Force - a variety of tools (including the Patients Association Nutrition Checklist and Nutrition Wheel) and resources to help support older people, carers and healthcare professionals within local communities, care homes and elsewhere to make changes to tackle undernutrition