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Poor hospital nutrition rising

Mistakes relating to poor nutrition in NHS hospitals have almost doubled in the last two years, according to figures obtained by the opposition party, the Conservatives.

The number of incidents jumped by 88% between 2005 and 2007, from 15,473 to 29,138 across England.

The errors were reported by NHS staff to the National Patient Safety Agency and relate to incidents “which could have or did lead to harm for one or more patients receiving NHS care”.

There were major regional variations within the findings, with a 248% rise in the North East Strategic Health Authority (SHA) and a 178% jump in the West Midlands SHA.

Meanwhile, the rise was lower at 46% in the North West SHA and 63% in the Yorkshire and Humber SHA.

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A Royal College of Nursing poll last year found that patients were at risk of malnutrition because there were not enough nurses to make sure proper meals were given to patients.

Almost half (46%) of nurses said there were not enough staff to help patients who may need help with eating and drinking.

A similar number (42%) said they do not have enough time to make sure patients ate properly.

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National Patient Safety Agency