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Three issues concerning nutrition in hospital are frequently highlighted in nursing literature the risk of elderly patients becoming malnourished, the lack of adequate nutritional care provided by nurses and the importance of certain nutrients in the process of wound healing This detailed study of seven subjects on care of the elderly wards examined their intake of certain important nutrients The findings are discussed in relation to the Department of Health's Estimated Average Requirements (1991) and the achievement of an optimum wound healing environment The results add further to the evidence that many patients do not consume sufficient levels of nutrients and in some cases did not even receive adequate quantities of these nutrients on their plates Nurses’ nutritional care was limited in most cases and no subjects received an optimum nutritional environment for wound healing