BDA Policy Statement. Nutrition and the COVID-19 discharge pathway
The policy statement was created by the BDA Education, Professional Development and Policy team, with input from BDA Public Affairs, BDA Specialist Groups and the BDA Board of Directors.
Good nutrition is absolutely central to any recovery or rehabilitation. Policy makers, healthcare leaders and dietetic leaders need to take action to ensure that everyone leaving hospital after suffering COVID-19, has access to suitable nutrition, with expert guidance from a dietitian.
As patients with COVID-19 are at high risk of malnutrition, all should be screened for malnutrition prior to discharge. Their nutritional risk should be included in discharge documentation, along with a handover of the nutritional care plan, suggested monitoring, and involvement of community dietetic colleagues and other relevant members of the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) in the community settling. Not having this in place will lead to prolonged rehabilitation which will stretch primary and secondary care services further.