Development of nutrition standards and therapeutic diet specifications for public hospitals in New South Wales

Peter WILLIAMS, Tanya Hazlewood, Glen Pang

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    3 Citations (Scopus)
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    In New South Wales (NSW), a new suite of nutrition standards for menus and specifications for therapeutic diets to be used in hospitals has been developed. These standards were required to facilitate centralised menu planning and food production, with the move to management of most hospital food services by HealthShare NSW, a state-wide business unit of NSW Health. The standards also aim to improve communication between health professionals, particularly with the increasing use of computerised meal-ordering systems. Nutrition standards have been developed for adult, paediatric and mental health inpatients, and specifications for 147 different adult and paediatric therapeutic diets. There is still significant variation in the nutrition standards for nutrition and therapeutic diets in hospitals across the Australian states, and a move to a more nationally harmonised approach would be welcome. Further research is required to examine the impact of these standards on operating efficiency and patient care outcomes. What is known about the topic? The development of nutrition standards for Australian hospitals is a new process and has not been described in the literature previously. What does this paper add? This paper provides a description of the process used in NSW to develop nutrition and diet standards, and citations of the key new documents, which could inform practitioners and policy makers in other states. What are the implications for practitioners? Hospital managers, foodservice staff, dietitians and other clinicians in NSW will need to be aware of the requirement in the new standards to ensure best practice care. Those in other jurisdictions should try to ensure movement towards more nationally consistent guidelines and standards.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)467-470
    Number of pages4
    JournalAustralian Health Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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