ONCA Conference Copenhagen Creating Equality in Nutritional Care

Czech Republic

Ivana Pražanová Communication Coordinator Czech Republic

Clinical Dietitian, Thomayer Hospital, Prague

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Introduction

Czech Society of Clinical Nutrition and Intensive Metabolic Care (SKVIMP) as a member of ESPEN participated in the ONCA campaign from its very beginning. In cooperation with the Czech Association of Medical Nutrition Producers (AVKV), the following objectives of the Czech ONCA were established:

  • Nutritional screening implementation at all levels of health care.
  • Systematic and documented nutritional care for all individuals in malnutrition or the risk of its development.
  • Presence, and/or availability of nutrition teams in all health facilities.
  • Guarantee of the system of continuous education of health professionals focused on the importance of malnutrition and ways of its prevention and treatment.
  • Change in the organization and reimbursement of health care to ensure the availability and quality of nutritional care within the public health insurance system.
  • Raising general awareness of the importance of prevention and treatment of malnutrition in the general population.

From the very beginning, both organizations shared the ENHA vision “Each individual at risk of malnutrition or malnourished should be systematically screened, evaluated and receive fair, appropriate and high-quality nutrition care”.

Press conference of the Alliance during the nDay 2019. Czech Minister of Health Adam Vojtech attended.

Events

With the aim to get a better view of nutritional care in Czech health facilities, Nutrition Day (nDay) was introduced in 2015. Thanks to the massive campaign and involvement of associations of nutrition professionals, more than 4.000 Czech patients participated in nDay 2015, and the Czech Republic became one of four most active countries in the world that year. The tradition of nationwide involvement in nDay continued in 2017, 2019, and 2021. The nDay became the highlight of the first Czech participation at the Malnutrition Awareness Week in 2021.

Organization

In 2019, the Czech Alliance of Nutrition Care (APNP) was founded by Czech associations of nutrition professionals, creating a common platform enabling regular contacts, focusing on the set goals, and follow-up on the agreed activities. There are 4 stakeholders: SKVIMP, AVKV, and 2 associations of dietitians. The cooperation with patients’ organizations is based on individual projects.

Recommendations

In 2019 also, the Alliance began to work on the new National Standards of Hospital Food and Nutrition Care in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health. While the last revision of the national standard of hospital catering was presented in 1991, a national standard of nutritional care did not exist. The Hospital Nutrition Working Group was established and completely new standards dedicated to hospital nutritional care were issued at the end of September 2020, endorsed by the Ministry of Health. The new standards have been implemented by the Czech health facilities. An implementation survey among state hospitals revealed a need to increase the availability of clinical dietitians and introduce a platform for developing and sharing new, more attractive menus. The Alliance representatives continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health on this project.

In 2021, the Alliance decided to join the international campaign Malnutrition Awareness Week (MAW). The objectives of the Czech MAW campaign were to 

  1. attract the attention of the health professionals and general public to the risks of malnutrition
  2. offer self-screening tools and tips on how to enrich the food in home settings
  3. focus on the prevalence of malnutrition in the community

The new website containing the self-screening tool based on the MUST was launched, with three possible outcomes – low, middle, and high risk of malnutrition. Based on the outcome, the website visitor is referred to one of three leaflets with tips on how to make the most out of food. Links to the outpatient clinics and nutrition professionals are also available on the new website. The project is endorsed by the Czech Ministry of Health.

Czech ONCA Team