Specialist knowledge in nutrition and metabolism has been used by experts at QMU to improve the lives of older people and vulnerable adults in hospitals and care homes.
For 15 years staff at QMU have carried out research work which helps shape policy and practice in the nutritional care of older people and nutritionally vulnerable adults.
Research from QMU has been used by organisations involved in the care of older people to help them improve guidelines for the nutritional management and care standards of older people and vulnerable adults in both residential and community settings.
One of QMU’s key areas of research focuses on Nutrition and Metabolism in Health and Disease. Researchers in this area have identified changes which occur in aging adults – particularly in their nutritional status and dietary needs. This work has informed standards of care in relation to nutritional and fluid provision of vulnerable adults in hospitals and care homes across Scotland and beyond.
QMU’s reputation for research in this specialist field led to funding from the Food Standards Agency and the Scottish Government to develop an education and training resource which helped improve nutritional knowledge and management in care homes. This resource was rolled out across the Care Home Learning Network in Scotland and used to assist Care Homes in implementing acceptable levels of nutritional care. There are currently 1290 care homes across Scotland which are required to provide care which meets the ‘National Standards of Care for Care Homes for Older People’. QMU's education and training programme, which supported nutrition champions in Scottish care homes, has provided direct benefits to care home managers and staff. This work has helped implement systems to provide nutritional support to residents who receive more appropriate and individualised nutritional care.
This important work builds on QMU’s expertise in health and rehabilitation and particularly its earlier work which has identified the importance of optimising diet to improve health and health-related quality of life in older people and nutritionally vulnerable patients. Ultimately, this work emphasises the University’s mission of improving quality of life.