Partners in the Dutch Approach
Over the last five years, the combined Dutch efforts to fight malnutrition have led to gradually decreasing malnutrition prevalence rates in all health care settings in the Netherlands. The following partners participated in our succesful ‘Dutch Approach’ The Dutch Malnutrition Steering Group (DMG) was established in 2005. This is a multi-professional group, consisting of physicians (e.g. a surgeon, geriatrician, anesthesiologist, general practitioner), dietitians, nurses and policy makers. Each participant represents their own profession and is able to make decisions on behalf of their profession. As an example the participating dietitian represents the Dutch Dietetic Association, the General Practitioner the Dutch GP association and so on. We have thus created an ability to draw on a wide range of resources as well as being able to resolve any issues more efficiently. At its start the Dutch Malnutrition Steering Group aimed to fight malnutrition only in the hospital setting. Later this was expanded to nursing homes as well as to the home care setting. The DMG has developed a consistent methodology to treat malnutrition. The methodology combines good clinical practice, scientific knowledge and field experience into simple instruments for screening and treating malnutrition.
Dutch Annual Measurement of Care Problems (LPZ)
The Dutch Annual Measurement of Care Problems (LPZ) started measuring malnutrition cross-sectionally in all health care settings in 2004. This provides new malnutrition prevalence data every year, with approximately 30,000 patients participating per year. This annual prevalence measurement has proved to be very important in convincing policymakers about the seriousness of the problem caused by disease related malnutrition in all health care settings.
We are now using the LPZ data to show trends in prevalence rates over several years.
Dutch Ministry of Health
The Dutch Ministry of Health is an important partner in the combined efforts to tackle malnutrition in the Netherlands. The Ministry has not only funded the majority of the projects to tackle malnutrition but it has also has introduced mandatory indicators for screening and treatment of malnutrition in hospitals (2007 and 2008), nursing homes (2009) and home care (2010). It is therefore obligatory for institutions and home care organisations to participate in projects to fight malnutrition.
NESPEN is the Dutch Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. NESPEN organizes two scientific meeting every year as well as an educational session for dietitians involved in research. NESPEN is now working on an educational programme so that medical doctors, dietitians and nurses can obtain a degree in clinical nutrition. This programme will also contain elements of the ESPEN Life Long Learning (LLL) programme in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. For more information click here.
PROMISS stands for “PRevention Of Malnutrition In Senior Subjects in the EU”. In Europe, 90-95% of older adults live at home. Among them, about 21% is malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. PROMISS therefore aims at conducting research on prevention of malnutrition among older persons living at home, thus providing concrete recommendations for an active and healthy life-style also in later years. To achieve this mission, a multi-disciplinary international consortium will pursue the following objectives, divided in two phases: the understanding of the context and, based on this, the development of solutions to prevent malnutrition. Click here to view the website.
Malnutrition in the Elderly Knowledge Hub
The Joint Action “Malnutrition in the Elderly Knowledge Hub” is part of the Strategic Research Agenda of the Joint Programming Initiative “A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life”. The general objectives of the Malnutrition in the Elderly Knowledge Hub (MaNuEL) are to extend scientific knowledge and to strengthen evidence-based best practice in the field of malnutrition in older persons, to build a sustainable, transnational competence network of malnutrition experts, and to harmonise research and clinical practice. Click here for more information.