British hospitals struggle to feed elderly

August 30, 2006

British officials say hospitals are struggling to make sure elderly patients are fed properly.

A survey of 500 nurses by the Group Age Concern said nine out of 10 of the nurses were not always able to help patients who needed assistance with eating and drinking, The Sun newspaper reported.

British Health Minister Caroline Flint told GMTV that National Health Service hospitals are introducing new initiatives, such as prioritized meal times where nurses focus entirely on patients' eating.

Age Concern said 60 percent of older patients were at risk of becoming malnourished or seeing their health get worse. Flint said 40 percent of elderly people being admitted into hospital were already malnourished.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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