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RCN: Nutrition and hydration 'crucial'

Collaborative working is important for nutrition and hydration as part of patient care, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said. 

As part of Nutrition and Hydration Week (17-23 March 2014), the RCN has reminded nurses and healthcare assistants that nutrition and hydration are essential to health and well being. 

Ensuring that patient nutrition and hydration levels are properly managed is crucial to maintaining patient safety and must be a priority for all health care professionals, the RCN has said. 

According to the RCN, Nutrition and Hydration Week can be a useful opportunity for all those working in health care to reflect on how they are helping to ensure patients are effectively nourished and hydrated. 

It is also imperative that leaders across the health service review how staff are supported to implement nutrition and hydration strategies and to look at how collaborative working amongst the various health professions can be promoted, the RCN said. 

Janet Davies, the RCN's director of nursing and service delivery, said: “Nutrition and hydration are vital to patient care. When managed well, patients are kept properly nourished and hydrated and this can help them to keep well and recover from illness. When managed poorly, however, there can be a significant threat to patient safety.

“Nutrition and Hydration Week is a chance for nurses, health care assistants, and all professionals in the health sector to focus on what they need to do to provide excellent care to patients. The RCN will work with our members and our partners in other health organisations to help ensure that patients' nutrition and hydration needs are met.”