Support with nutrition for care homes

Community Clinical Dietitians
Hengrave House
Torbay Hospital

Tel: 01803 654396
Email: Community Clinical Dietitians
Twitter: @TSDFTDietitians

The Community Clinical Dietitians are here to support you with the nutritional care of your care home residents.

How to identify residents who are at risk of malnutrition

Calculating MUST scores (Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool)

Alternatives to MUST

If MUST scores no longer become feasible the Patient Association checklist may be simpler to use. These checklists are not specifically written for care homes. They are a useful assessment tool with prompts to help formulate individual care plans.

  • Section A – this contains four key questions to assess someone’s potential risk,
  • Section B – this provides guidance and information on what to do for anyone who was identified as needing support from Section A.

Next steps

If you are concerned about the nutritional intake of one of your residents, you have identified that they have lost weight or have a low Body Mass Index:

Advice for patients at risk of malnutrition

Somerset NHS Dietitians have developed a free webinars for malnutrition.

Managing malnutrition

Listen to Specialist NHS Dietitians, Lesley Harper and Leah Seamark, giving valuable advice on how to identify if you may be at risk of malnutrition and tips of making simple dietary changes to improve your nutrition and health.

Screening and supporting for malnutrition in care homes

Listen to Specialist NHS Dietitians, Lesley Harper and Marianne Williams, giving valuable advice on screening and supporting for those at risk of malnutrition, development of person-centred care plans, support to catering teams, monitoring and End of Life Nutrition.

Nutrition and COVID-19

For information on good nutrition during or after covid illness, please see the COVID-19 Illness Resource Finder.

For general advice about COVID-19 and nutrition please see the BDA advice for the general public.

The Team of NHS Community Dietitians can provide individualised assessment of residents tested positive with COVID-19.

This short video, created by care home support NHS dietitians in Kernow CCG, provides nutritional information on managing residents who have, or are recovering from, COVID-19.


Wessex AHSN (Academic Health Science Network), in collaboration with Hampshire County Council, have produced a Hydration Toolkit for care homes, including a free E-learning module and resources.

Clinical Community Dietitians

Community Dietitians are able to assess by telephone, advise on food fortification and hydration, liaise with carers/other agencies and arrange oral nutritional supplements through GP if appropriate.

If in any doubt about a resident please call to discuss on 01803 654396.

Remote or face to face training is also available from the team of NHS Dietitians. Please contact us for more information.

Other resources

As part of our care and treatment programmes, we have prepared some videos that will support people who face challenges with eating, diet and nutrition because of the effects of another condition.

A range Food Fact Sheets is also available for a wide range of topics, written by Dietitians from the British Dietetic Association.