Focus on Undernutrition is a flagship service both across the North East and nationally in tackling undernutrition from a regional perspective. Originally called Focus on Food, the service has evolved from a project to identify and treat undernutrition in six care homes, to being implemented as a service throughout health and social care across the North East through training and supporting staff.
Our services have been promoted nationally as a visionary example for tackling undernutrition by national organisations, including NHS England, National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN), Malnutrition Taskforce and British Dietetic Association.
One example of the effectiveness of our work can be demonstrated by the significant improvement in the weights of residents at risk of undernutrition following our training which led to a 51% reduction in pressure ulcers amongst residents.
Our passion for tackling undernutrition is endless, we are constantly thinking of new innovative ways to improve the service for residents and clients. Our team perseveres until they achieve success at the highest standard. It is this passion which results in people seeking our advice locally and nationally.
Rachael Masters, Consultant Dietitian, is the founder and developer of Focus on Undernutrition, based in the North East of England. Rachael was awarded a first class honours in Nutrition and Dietetics at Surrey University and a MSc distinction in clinical leadership and research at Newcastle University. Throughout her 25 dietetic career she has specialised in the nutritional needs of the elderly and undertook her MSc dissertation on the Focus on Undernutrition service in care homes. Her expertise and passion are endless in training care home catering and healthcare staff, where she is passionate about promoting ‘real food as treatment’ and appealing pureed diets. She has received sixteen national and local awards, including the HSJ award and national NHS Inspirational Leadership Award, and had the privilege of attending the Queen’s garden party in recognition for her work on the Focus service and the development of the ‘MUST’ alternative measurement tape.
Rachael has represented dietitians on several national organisations, including the development of the NICE quality standards. Arising from her work with the Focus service worked with the Women’s Hour Radio 4, BBC, ITV, Food Standards Agency and private companies. She is also part of the editorial team at Complete Nutrition and peer reviewer for the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Outside work Rachael enjoys volunteering with her husband and children at The Auckland Project and Kynren, the UKs largest outdoor historical show, where she is also a team lead. She is chair of the Bishop Auckland Passion Play and actively involved in the local churches. In her spare time she loves baking and reading.