PIONEERING work in Dorset to combat malnutrition has been recognised.

Sue Hawkins, care catering services manager at Dorset County Council was named as one of the top 50 people by the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) and Health Service Journal (HSJ) for her work in the area.

The Care Integration 50 Awards was set up to celebrate the 50 most influential people involved in the integration of health and social care services and identify the people who are doing the most to overcome historical organisational barriers to create a new care system.

A panel of judges assessed candidates on a number of criteria. A key factor was how innovative their approach to health and social care integration had been, and if the work had improved services for people who rely on them.

The winners were also judged on the effectiveness of their leadership and whether their work had achieved a positive impact on services in their local economy.

Sue Hawkins was praised for her commitment to create strong links between the NHS, Public Health and the wider community to introduce the malnutrition universal screening tool into community settings.

The screening tool allows either health or social care staff to take action if a person is malnourished.

Catherine Driscoll, director for adult and community services at Dorset County Council, said: “Malnutrition in older people is a much more common problem than many realise, and with our aging population, will only continue unless we take action.

“Nutrition is important at all stages in life and it is everybody’s responsibility, from neighbours, councils and the NHS, to recognise the problem and look at simple steps that can help.

“We have been working hard in Dorset to promote nutritional care, and the endorsement from the LGC and HSJ for our work is an honour. We hope this means that more people will see and benefit from the work we have done.”