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Community Dietetics Team

Community Dietetic Team

The Community Dietetic team joined NCH&C in December 2019

Meet the team:

We’re a team of 27 covering four main areas: Learning Disabilities, Inpatients, Outpatients and Home Enteral Feeding (HEF).

Community Dietetics Team

What do Dietitians do?

There’s a lot of dietary and nutritional advice in the media but not all of it is evidence based or from reputable sources. As dietitians, we can interpret the science of nutrition to improve and treat diseases and conditions by giving practical, personalised advice to patients, carers and other health care professionals.

Home Enteral Feeds (HEF)

The team supports adults and their carers in north, south and central Norfolk who have a specialised enteral feeding tube inserted to help meet nutrition and fluid needs.

An enteral feeding tube is needed if a patient can’t meet their nutritional needs by eating and drinking. This may be because of swallowing difficulties as a result of a neurological condition, eg: Motor Neurone Disease; a stroke, or; as a result of cancer. Tubes can be placed in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract depending on the patient’s condition. A decision to place a tube is agreed by a multidisciplinary team but once discharged, the type of feed and the regime needed is decided by the Dietitian and the patient. Continued support by phone and home visits are provided by the HEF team as long as the patient has a tube in situ.

Learning Disability Dietitians

The 4 Learning Disability Dietitians provide a service to adults with a learning disability. They ensure that service users receive the correct dietary advice that is person-centred to meet their needs, taking into account their learning disability, with reasonable adjustments made to support them where necessary. Multi-disciplinary work is essential and there are five different LD Teams across Norfolk (North, South, East, West and City) that the team cover and work in.

They will see patients for a range of nutritional concerns including: Nutrition Support, Type 1 & 2 Diabetes, Allergies, Intolerances, Coeliac Disease, IBS, Metabolic Conditions, Weight Management and Vitamin & Mineral deficiencies. They with their MDT colleagues and tailor advice and to create bespoke dietary advice care plans for their patients, carers and support workers.

Community Team

This team provides a service to adult patients who can be seen in an outpatient settings in clinics, patients’ own homes, or in care homes. The team also receives referrals from staff in some of our community inpatient units.

Assistant practitioners and Dietetic Assistants in this team are trained to work with people who need nutrition support for a variety of reasons ie neurological conditions, following stroke, oncology (cancer) and dementia.

Whilst Food First is always the first line approach when managing patients who have unexplained weight loss, many patients will need oral nutritional supplements (ONS). Everyone within this team can request a GP to prescribe ONS to help  patients meet their nutritional need . Firstly they will ensure that the consistency meets recommendations set by the Speech and Language Therapy team and also ensure that the most cost effective supplements are prescribed so long as patients taste preferences are also considered.