All the charities supported in this strategic area are funded from profits from Cytoplan. In 2018/19 £250,000 was transferred to The AIM Foundation.
Nutrition is often an overlooked aspect of medical training and care. Malnutrition problems are on the rise in the UK making nutritional education more essential than ever. AIM has funded several charitable and not-for-profit organisations that are leading the way in medical nutrition.
NNEdPro is a not-for-profit think tank, training academy and knowledge network based at Cambridge University. NNEdPro aims to: develop, provide and evaluate impacts of nutritional education in healthcare; to research and interpret data in current unexplored areas of how nutrition aids healthcare; and to improve policymakers and healthcare practitioners access to the information.
With 2019’s funding NNEdPro created education and training toolkits, ran education and training roadshows for GPs and Foundation Doctors and launched an e-Learning course in Nutrition and Healthcare. Over the next few year’s AIM’s funding, will enable NNEdPro to update their material to meet the needs identified in a recent survey, train more GPs, develop hubs and undertake more policy work.
Initially set up in 2017 by two medical students, Nutritank describes themselves as an information hub of food, nutrition and lifestyle medicine. AIM’s core funding has helped them to successfully campaign for increased nutritional education at medical schools. They have: succeeded in gaining a new clause in the NHS 5-year long-term plan to increase nutritional training for healthcare practitioners; won the 2019 Pat Llewelyn New Talent BBC food and farming award; and were featured on Jamie Oliver’s Channel 4 show, working on his campaign #nutrition4medics. AIM has committed to three years of further funding to help Nutritank achieve new levels of success.
- Institute of Health Visiting (iHV)
iHV is a charity that delivers training and is actively involved with research and policy. Through training Nutrition Champions, iHV aims to positively impact families and children’s nutrition and the systems that support them. AIM has previously funded the redesign of their ‘Healthy Weight, Healthy Nutrition’ Champion training. This new training has reached over 100 Champions, who will cascade the learning to the rest of their Health Visitor teams. Now with AIM’s continued support for the next three years. iHV plan to train another 600 champions and extend this program to a broader group of practitioners. They will also continually update the program with latest practice and theory and develop an electronic resource.
- Culinary Medicine (UK)
Culinary Medicine UK teaches health practitioners the foundation of clinical nutrition and how to cook themselves, so they can better motivate their patients to lead healthier lives using food. They have developed and run a series of evidenced-based courses for both medical students and qualified doctors.
AIM’s continued support will allow this young Community Interest Company to further its reach and impact. Over the next three years, Culinary Medicine will work towards creating its flagship course, which will train 600 GPs and trainee GPs.
- College of Medicine and Integrated Health
The College of Medicine and Integrated Health is focussed on improving the healthcare system by bringing together senior healthcare practitioners, scientists, medical students, patients and carers though events and run courses they run. AIM has given a development fund to the College of Medicine and Integrated Health, to help better understand the need for nutritional education for social prescribing link workers and clinical leads.
Social prescribing link workers help people to unpick complex issues affecting their health and wellbeing. They connect people to community groups and help the person to develop skills, friendships and resilience.
Based at the University of Brighton, the Education and Research in medical Nutrition Network (ERimNN) connects practitioners who are interested in nutritional education together. ERimNN developed the nutrition curriculum for Brighton & Sussex medical school.
With funding from AIM, ERimNN are running a pilot project to research the food experiences of patients and how nutritional care is provided on hospital wards. The pilot will take place at four adult clinical areas and will involve nurses, nursing associates and dietitians. The project will identify concerns and solutions, and finally, they will implement the changes needed to improve nutritional care.
- Coalition Project
Formed in 2019, The Coalition brings together four of the above organisations’ expertise and passion: NNEdPro, Nutritank, Culinary Medicine UK and ERimNN. AIM has agreed to fund the cost to set up meetings so that these organisations can share knowledge, avoid duplication, work together to change policies and the medical curriculum, and ultimately to improve healthcare practitioners knowledge in nutrition.
- Vitamin D Research Study
AIM are helping to fund a ‘test and treat’ research study in 2020/21 on correcting vitamin D deficiency in the UK populations. The Queen Mary University of London will co-ordinate the research investigating the risk factors for COVID-19 overlap of vitamin D deficiency. A total of 5,076 people are enrolled in the study; half will be tested for vitamin D deficiency and offered 6-months of supplements. Over those six months cases of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections will be recorded and compared against those not receiving supplements.