Pictured (l-r): Patricia Morrison, Assistant Director of Nursing, Daragh Fahey, Director of Quality Safety and Risk Management, Sinead Feehan, Manager of the Nutrition and Dietetics and Hospital Nutrition Steering Committee, and David Slevin CEO of Tallaght Hospital.

One in four patients who currently present at hospitals are estimated to be malnourished, and in a bid to combat the problem, Tallaght Hospital has launched its Good Nutrition & Hydration campaign.

A multidisciplinary task team will visit every ward in the hospital over the next three days (24-28 May) in order to educate patients and staff about malnutrition and to highlight the importance of good nutrition and hydration during recovery. This initiative is part of Tallaght Hospital’s series of Zero Harm Campaigns.

In addition to visiting every ward, stands will be erected in the hospital atrium and along the main corridor presenting useful information on nutrition and hydration, as well as the current hospital initiatives that aim to improve nutritional care.

It is hoped that this campaign will help to inform patients about the importance of nutrition and hydration during their recovery, and also act as a reminder to staff about their role in recognising malnutrition in their patients, and working with Tallaght Hospital’s Nutrition & Dietetics Department to address the problem.

Malnourished patients have a much higher risk of infection, longer stays in hospital, greater risks of readmission and more acute mortality risks. The cost of treating malnutrition in Ireland is estimated at €1.4 billion annually.