Around a dozen junior doctors will become nutrition champions next month as part of a drive to combat malnutrition in UK hospitals.
The move follows a call for action on hospital nutrition by the BMA.
The NELICO (nutrition education leadership for improved clinical outcomes) training weekend in March is the next stage after an evaluation of the NNEdPro (Need for Nutrition Education Programme) found that two-day intensive courses over two weekends had improved understanding of clinical nutrition among 98 medical students.
Key to prevention
Cambridge senior clinician scientist Sumantra Ray, who works for the Medical Research Council human nutrition research unit and is NNEdPro chair, said: ‘Training doctors to act alongside other colleagues to tackle poor nutrition can be key to prevention.’
Dr Ray is a former member of the BMA junior doctors committee and was involved in the BMA’s work on improving nutrition after the juniors conference called for action in 2005.
Evaluation of a Novel Nutrition Education Intervention for Medical Students from Across England, published on BMJ Open earlier this month, found that knowledge, attitude and practice scores related to clinical nutrition improved among participants up to three months after they had taken the courses.
Some participants will now be trained to lead nutrition awareness events at four hospital trusts in England.