Nutrition and dietetics
Nutrition and dietetics is the professional study of nutrition and how it applies medically to health and disease. We work with patients with acute and chronic illnesses within our hospitals and out in the community. We use dietary manipulation and food to treat disease and optimise health.
Unlike nutritionists, dietitians must be qualified in their field as a registered HPC and this title is legally protected within the medical profession. Nutritionists or nutritional therapists may offer advice on diet or nutrition however any training or professional practice that they have may be unregulated.
Dietitians have many important roles in health care and our staff work closely with other specialties to provide comprehensive care to patients suffering with illnesses such as, diabetes, obesity, gastrointestinal illnesses, eating disorders and cancer. We also carry out extensive work with the children’s centre to enable healthier eating and cooking skills.
- Nutritional support: using normal food with extra calories and nutrients added or specialist nutrition products to supplement or replace normal food and drinks in malnourished patients. Some may require feeding tubes
- Therapeutic diets: eating more of or the avoidance of certain foods can help to control a patient’s symptoms, improving their quality of life
- Advice on nutritional issues to various committees including the nutrition strategy group
- Education: our staff are committed to educating other health professionals through training.
Every ward has an allocated dietitian responsible for all dietetic services to that area and once you are referred to a dietitian by a member of ward staff we aim to see you within 24 hours. All of our qualified dieticians wear black or navy trousers or skirts and a white tunic with a light blue stripe on the collar and sleeves. The tunic will also have our light blue nutrition and dietetics logo on it.
General dietetic outpatient clinics are available which include nutritional support, in addition to the specialist areas of paediatrics, diabetes, gastroenterology, weight management, chronic obstructive airways disease (COPD) and oncology.
Our paediatric dietitians are actually part of the Children’s Therapy service
We support adults (16 years and older) with a range of nutrition and health needs including:
- Difficulties with eating and drinking that might result in under nutrition
- Gut and bowel conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome & Coeliac Disease
- Dietary assessment and advice regarding nutritional deficiencies
On referral, we will offer a consultation at a clinic or if necessary a home visit (including care homes). We work with you to identify changes that are needed to help you be as healthy as possible, and to support you and your family/carers by providing practical and accurate advice and information.
We also work:
- As part of the community diabetes service including gestational diabetes
- As part of the rehabilitation medicine services
- As part of the oncology service
Please note that we do not offer a service for eating disorders.