IrSPEN Conference March 2015
Conference and Policy Seminar highest attendance to date. Presentations now available
The opening day of the IrSPEN National Conference was devoted to a policy seminar ‘Establishing nutrition as a safety priority: Time to act’, attended by nearly 200 invited stakeholders and delegates.
With a theme of ‘Time to Act’ reflecting the consensus that healthcare providers are not doing enough to prioritise nutrition, delegates and invited representatives from the HSE and HIQA heard that undernourished patients are nearly twice as likely to end up in hospital than a normally nourished patient receiving adequate nutrition.
The seminar, featuring world expert Prof Marinos Elia and leading health economist Prof Charles Normand was opened by Prof John Reynolds, IrSPEN chair. In his welcome address, Prof Reynolds commended Dr. Philip Crowley, National Quality Improvement Director for putting his weight behind a programme aimed at making nutrition and hydration a priority within the 2015 Service plan. Although unable to attend personally, Dr. John Fitzsimons, Clinical Director within the QI Division spoke on Dr. Crowley’s behalf with Olivia Sinclair and Margaret O Neill presenting on HSE plans for improving the quality of nutrition and food across the healthcare system.
The more we treat, the more we save
Prof Elia presented updated findings from a new costing report that shows that malnourished patients in England cost over three times more to manage than non-malnourished patients. He presented evidence from systematic reviews that nutrition supplementation of patients reduced risks of complications, length of stay and readmission rates, leading to substantial cost savings, concluding ‘the more we treat, the more we save’.
Strong case for hospital and community screening programmes
Presentations demonstrating the success of initiatives to implement nutrition screening programmes were given by Elaine Bradley, Beaumont hospital , Hilda Griffin, St. Mary’s Hospital and Dr. Sharon Kennelly, Midlands Community Area. All clearly highlighted benefits for patients and the health service, with reductions in length of stay and potential savings of between 1800 and 3000 per patient identified in six month pilot test at Beaumont hospital.
Intestinal Failure centre for adults lacking in Ireland
Professor Bourke made a powerful case for establishing an adult specialist centre for intestinal failure in the Republic of Ireland, and said that it was unprecedented for a developed country to have no such service. Currently plans are in place to work with IrSPEN and the HSE to address this issue.