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These guidelines are intended for use by all health care professionals involved in the treatment of, and responsible for providing advice to adult patients receiving enteral tube feeding at St. Peters Hospitals. For the purpose of this document ‘enteral feeding’ refers to the delivery of nutrition via a tube into the gastrointestinal tract and it does not address oral nutrition support.

It is widely documented that nutrition is a major factor in maintaining good health, preventing illness and improving recovery. Malnutrition has been described as ‘a state of nutrition in which a deficiency of energy, protein and/or other nutrients can cause adverse measurable effects on tissue/body form, composition, function or clinical outcome’ (National Collaborating Centre for Acute Care 2006). Reducing or preventing malnutrition using nutritional support is proven to be effective both clinically and financially. Accurate nutritional screening using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) identifies those patients at risk of malnutrition and enables them to be referred for further assessment and treatment as deemed appropriate. Methods to improve or maintain nutritional status are known as nutritional support and may be given orally or via a tube. The delivery of nutrition into the gastrointestinal tract via a tube is known as artificial nutritional support.



This policy is designed for all healthcare professionals working with adult patients being considered for, or receiving, enteral nutrition support. It will ensure a consistent, evidence based approach to the management of patients receiving enteral nutrition support, ensuring optimal patient care.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Caroline Goodger
Ratified by: SNMC
Date Ratified: February 2015
Date Issued: February 2015
Review Date: January 2018
Target Audience: All staff involved with adult enteral feeding at Ashford and St Peters Hospitals
Contact name: Caroline Goodger


See also:

  • Parenteral Nutrition Policy
  • Consent Policy
  • Protocol for establishing enteral feeding in Intensive Care
  • MRSA policy
  • Mental Capacity Policy
  • Use of Mittens policy
  • Nutritional Risk core care plan
  • Patient has problems eating and drinking core care plan
  • PEG core care plan
  • RIG core care plan
  • Balloon gastrostomy core care plan
  • Nasogastric feeding core care plan
  • Dysphagia and swallowing problems core care plan
  • Care of PEG competency
  • Insertion of fine bore feeding tube competency