Local dietitians at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust are highlighting the wide range of ways dietitians can support people to have a good diet and healthy wellbeing as part of the sixth annual Dietitians Week.
Dietitians Week 2019 runs from 3 to 7 June and is focusing on #WhatDietitiansDo.
The Trust has a team of Health Care Profession Council registered Dietitians who offer assessment, advice and support to patients and their families and carers to meet their nutritional needs and manage their conditions.
Data shows that more people than ever are suffering the effects of malnutrition, with elderly people particularly affected. Over a million people a year are suffering the effects of not eating enough, with 1.3 million of those being over 65. It’s estimated that 30-42% of patients admitted to care homes are at risk of malnutrition. Being undernourished increases a person’s risk of complications and frailty and increases the length of hospital stays.
Latest figures from the NHS show that 29% of the adult population are now obese, up from 26% in 2016. Research published in April of this year highlighted how people with obesity are at a 70% higher risk of developing heart failure. Government estimates that treating overweight and obesity costs the NHS over £6 billion a year – and this is a conservative estimate.
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled in the past two decades and more than 4.7 million people now have diabetes, of which 90% have type 2. This is related to lifestyle factors.
The hospital and community dietitians work closely together to provide a seamless service for patients.
Dietitian Jillian Barlow, Team lead of the dietitians at the Trust said, “People who come into hospital often have a poor appetite and may have recently lost weight. In addition when unwell some patients can struggle to eat / drink enough - the hospital team work with the patient to devise a plan to meet their nutritional needs. This may be through dietary changes, using supplement drinks or even artificial feeding via a feeding tube. Patients are involved in their care and we agree individual care plans to support the patient.’’
Also for people at home, diet and nutrition play an important role in many medical conditions. The Trust Community Dietitians use their expert knowledge of food and nutrition to assess and advise individuals and families on the best diet for a wide range of conditions.
Clare Berry, Community Dietitian Lead said, “whether working with patients who have a poor appetite, are tube fed or have a long term condition such as diabetes, we work closely with individuals taking account of personal preference in the advice offered”.
The Paediatric Dietitians see children ranging in age from new born up to the teenage years. They work across the community as well as providing a service to the children’s ward and neonatal unit.
Rachel Lawson, Lead Paediatric Dietitian said, “we see children for a wide range of reasons, including food allergy, selective eating, growth concerns, obesity, coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes. In all cases we aim to help families become expert in managing the child’s dietary needs and education is a large part of our work.”
For assessment and advice from a registered dietitian, please contact your GP.
Two of our dietitians have made short videos explaining #WhatDietitiansDo, you can view the videos here: