Managing a patient's malnutrition in the community may help reduce costs to the NHS, new advice suggests.

Guidance has been launched for the management of adult malnutrition in the community and helping people to achieve optimal nutritional intake, produced by a multi-professional panel including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

The cost of managing people with malnutrition is three to four times greater than that of managing non-malnourished people, due to higher use of healthcare resources, says the report. It is estimated that malnutrition costs in excess of £19 billion per annum in England alone.

‘A Guide to Managing Adult Malnutrition in the Community’ has been produced to support healthcare professionals to identify and manage individuals in the community at risk of malnutrition, including people with disease-related malnutrition, such as bowel conditions and dysphagia, and includes a pathway for the use of oral nutritional supplements.

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