The Dietetic service employs registered Dietitians, Nutritionists, Dietetic Assistant Practitioners, registered exercise professionals, Dietetic Assistants, and administrators.

Dietitians are qualified health professionals who assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Our Dietetic team translate the science of nutrition into practical information about food. They work with people to promote nutritional wellbeing, prevent food-related problems, and treat disease. The team are committed to enhancing public health and providing nutritional advice for the population we serve regarding all aspects of their nutritional needs in the treatment and management of their clinical conditions.

The team also provides support the training of dietetic students and offers training and education to promote evidence based nutrition within our Trust and community.

Our services are offered in community health centres, community venues, patients' homes, and care homes. Nutrition support is provided within our community Hospitals. The dietetic team works within multi-disciplinary teams across the Trust and our wider health, social care, and voluntary sector partners, to provide personalised high quality care.

 

What sort of work can you do in Dietetics at MPFT?

Depending on your role and level of responsibility you may work in the following areas:

  • Nutrition Support / Faltering Growth and Home Enteral Feeding
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Obesity Management
  • Cardiovascular disease 
  • Pain Management
  • Child Mental Health Services

 

What Qualifications do I need in Dietetics?

To qualify as a dietitian you are required to undertake an approved programme at a university. All dietetic programmes are approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and successful completion of the course provides eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC. It is a legal requirement that anyone who wishes to practise using the title 'Dietitian' is on the HCPC register.

You can also work within the team as an Administrator, Assistant, Assistant Practitioner, or Physical Activity Practitioner, which all require various levels of administrative or health related diploma, degree, NVQ, or Care Certificate.

The Skills For Health website has an example of a career pathway to qualification as a Dietician.

 

How can I find a job in Dietetics at MPFT?

All vacancies at MPFT are advertised on the NHS Jobs website.

 

Can I get Work Experience or Shadowing in Dietetics at MPFT?

Yes, work experience or shadowing is not just for external students. Staff can enquire with other teams to experience work in a different area from your own. Further information is available on our work experience page.

 

What other ways can I further develop my career in Dietetics at MPFT?

There are lots of exciting development opportunities in dietetics, whether developing into or across different specialisms, undertaking apprenticeships, or development into leadership roles (administrative, clinical, operational).

Our staff have progressed to higher banded roles within their team, moved on to professional and operational development and leadership roles both within dietetics and in other MPFT teams, moved into Primary Care Network based roles, and worked across different teams.

 

Useful Links

  • The NHS Health Careers website has lots of useful information about what it's like to work in a health role, whether in the NHS, a local authority, national Government, voluntary or community sectors.
  • The Institute of Apprenticeships works with employers and Government to provide apprenticeships across England.
  • Healthcare Apprenticeship Standards Online facilitates the development of apprenticeship standards for use in the healthcare sector.
  • The WOW Show is an online channel creating real-life encounters with the world of work to inspire young people about their futures.

Band 2

Administrator, Admin Apprentice
Band 3 Administrator, Dietician Assistant
Band 4 Office Co-ordinator, Dietetic Assistant Practitioner, Physical Activity Practitioner
Band 5 Dietician (various specialisms)
Band 6 Specialist Dietician (various specialisms)
Band 7 Operational Lead, Team Lead, Cinical Lead, Advanced Dietician (various specialisms)
Band 8 Advanced Clinical Practitioner (This title must only be used where the staff member has completed the ACP programme or portfolio)

 

A Dietetic Support Worker (DSW) delivers dietetic care, and performs tasks delegated by a dietitian. The DSW works within an agreed scope of practice under the close direction or supervision of a dietitian, within relevant legal and ethical frameworks and in accordance with organisational protocols and policies. They would have the underpinning knowledge, skills and assessed level of competence to undertake such a role.

 

Qualifications

  • S / NVQ level 3 in relevant field.

 

Main Activities

Case load:

  • Routine caseload for review and follow up within competency framework (CF), with supervision. Will support specific aspects of project work including public health.

Autonomy:

  • Under frequent and regular supervision has responsibility for limited areas of practice, including a designated caseload, within CF and care pathway.
  • Continually seeks to develop their practice with supervision.
  • Demonstrates required knowledge of scope and breadth of nutrition and dietetics and applies as relevant.
  • Demonstrates appreciation of knowledge and skills limitations.
  • Demonstrates sufficient knowledge and skills to deliver designated tasks.
  • Applies knowledge in familiar circumstances.
  • Applies and develops their communication skills.
  • Development will include short courses, in-house structured development programmes reflection on practice, practice supervision, mentoring.

Multidisciplinary Team Working:

  • Has awareness and respect of roles of MDT and contributes to functioning of MDT.
  • Works within local policies and procedures and local governance structure.
  • Is aware of BDA policies, position statements and guidance documents.
  • Be able to identify information from reputable sources to use in practice.
  • Demonstrates awareness of the risks of dietetic intervention and raises any issues with the dietitian.
  • Is aware of health and safety and undertakes mandatory local training.

Research:

  • Understands the importance of research underpinning dietetic practice.
  • Understands the importance of audit and participates in local audits.
  • Recognises the importance of duty of care for all service users and seeks guidance whenever ethical issues are raised.
  • Participates in delivery of education and training programmes to others.
  • Is aware of specialist groups and networks.
  • Accesses practice supervision and uses to develop own practice.
  • Participates in designated aspects of dietetic student training in practice placements.
  • Acts as a nutrition and dietetic resource providing answers to queries within scope of practice.
  • Contributes to development of nutrition and dietetic resources.

Quality of Service:

  • Monitors the quality of own work, and seeks help to improve quality of self and service.
  • Recognises dietetics in a changing environment and is able to work within a changing environment.
  • Contribute effectively to change within area of practice.
  • Promotes the profession by acting in a professional manner and as an advocate for their client group within their scope of practice.

Management of Resources:

  • Effectively manages self by prioritising and time management.
  • Uses and maintains resources efficiently and effectively (including environments, equipment, information and materials).

Being a Leader:

  • Works as an effective and responsible team member.
  • Is aware of the policies for healthcare and public health.

The Dietetic Assistant Practitioner delivers nutritional healthcare with a level of knowledge, skill and competence beyond that of a traditional healthcare assistant or support worker. They assume responsibility for delegated aspects of dietetic healthcare delivery which may previously have only been within the remit of registered dietitians. The Assistant Practitioner works within an agreed scope of practice under the direction or supervision of a dietitian within relevant legal and ethical frameworks and in accordance with organisational protocols and policies.

 

Qualifications

NVQ level 4 or Foundation degree in relevant field

 

Main Activities

Case load:

  • Routine caseload appropriate to setting within agreed competency framework (CF), with supervision. Will undertake specific aspects of project work including public health

Autonomy:

  • Under supervision has responsibility for limited areas of practice, has autonomy for decision making within agreed protocol.
  • Manages own caseload within CF and care pathway.
  • Continually seeks to develop their practice with supervision.
  • Demonstrates required knowledge of scope and breadth of nutrition and dietetics and applies as relevant.
  • Demonstrates appreciation of knowledge and skills limitations.
  • Demonstrates clinical reasoning which applies knowledge in familiar circumstances
  • Applies and develops their communication skills.
  • Development will include short courses, in-house structured development programmes reflection on practice, practice supervision, mentoring.

Multidisciplinary Team Working:

Has awareness and respect of roles of MDT and contributes to functioning of MDT.

  • Works within local policies and procedures and local governance structure.
  • Is aware of BDA policies, position statements and guidance documents.
  • Be able to identify information from reputable sources to use in practice.
  • Is aware of the evidence base for nutrition and dietetics within scope of practice

Risk Management:

  • Demonstrates awareness of the risks of dietetic intervention and raises any issues with the dietitian, following through on any delegated actions.
  • Is aware of health and safety and undertakes mandatory local training.
  • Understands the importance of research underpinning dietetic practice.
  • Understands the importance of audit and participates in local audits.

Ethical Practice:

  • Recognises the importance of duty of care for all service users and seeks guidance whenever ethical issues are raised

Sharing nutrition and dietetic knowledge:

  • Participates in the development and delivery of education and training programmes to others.

Developing and using personal networks:

  • Is aware of and uses specialist groups and networks.

Practice supervision:

  • Accesses practice supervision and uses to develop own practice.

Practice Education:

  • Participates in designated aspects of dietetic student training in practice placements.

Acting as a Resource:

  • Acts as a nutrition and dietetic resource providing answers to queries within scope of practice.
  • Contributes to development of nutrition and dietetic resources.

Quality of Service:

  • Monitors the quality of own work, and service and demonstrates problem solving skills to address quality issues.

Working in a Changing Environment:

  • Recognises dietetics in a changing environment and is able to work within a changing environment.
  • Contribute effectively to change within area of practice.

Advocate for the Profession:

  • Promotes the profession by acting in a professional manner and as an advocate for their client group within their scope of practice

Management of Resources:

  • Effectively manages self by prioritising and time management.
  • Uses and maintains resources efficiently and effectively (including environments, equipment, information and materials).

Being a Leader:

  • Works as an effective and responsible team member.

National Policy and Strategy:

  • Is aware of the policies for healthcare and public health.

At the point of registration, a graduate in dietetics understand and has the ability to work within the wide-ranging sphere of influence of dietetics. They will be able to work autonomously, with practice based on sound evidence, in therapeutic roles with individuals and more broadly, in health promotion and public health with both individuals and groups. The dietitian will demonstrate professional problem solving skills where there is considerable variation in the presentation and health needs of service users and the setting for care.

 

Qualifications

  • BSc Nutrition and Dietetics and or Masters in Dietetics
  • Registered Dietitian on Health Care Professions Council Register

Further Continued Professional Development in relevant field to role:

  • Diabetes
  • Renal
  • Gastroenterology
  • Weight Management
  • Behaviour change
  • Paediatrics
  • Allergy and food intolerances

 

Main Activities

Case load:

  • Routine caseload as appropriate to the setting. Manages more complex cases with supervision
  • In public health will take responsibility for specific aspects of projects.

Autonomy:

  • Has responsibility for specific areas of practice, managing own caseload identifies issues and starts to generate solutions with support
  • Continually seeks to develop their practice with supervision.
  • Demonstrates a comprehensive knowledge of scope and breadth of nutrition and dietetics and applies as relevant. Demonstrates appreciation of knowledge limitations.
  • Demonstrates clinical reasoning which applies knowledge in familiar and unfamiliar circumstances
  • Applies and develops their communication skills (initially developed in pre-registration education).
  • Development will include short courses, in-house structured development programmes reflection on practice, practice supervision, mentoring.

Multidisciplinary Team Working:

  • Has awareness and respect of roles of MDT and contributes to functioning of MDT.

Policies:

  • Works within local policies and procedures and local governance structure.
  • Is aware of BDA policies, position statements and guidance documents

Use of evidence base:

  • Be aware of the principles and practice of evidence based healthcare for professional practice.
  • Is aware of the evidence base for nutrition and dietetic practice.
  • Critically appraises the evidence base to answer questions and inform practice.

Risk Management:

  • Demonstrates awareness of the risks and benefits of dietetic interventions and seeks to limit the risks; shares this with service users.
  • Is aware of health and safety and undertakes mandatory local training.

Research:

  • Will be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to understand, interpret and apply research to their scope of practice.
  • For further details refer to Dietitians and research: a knowledge and skills framework (BDA 2007)

Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Understands audit cycle and participates in local audits.
  • Aware of national and local quality standards and frameworks relevant to practice.

Ethical Practice:

  • Ensures compliance with legal, ethical and regulatory requirements.
  • Recognises ethical dilemmas and manages these with support and guidance

Sharing nutrition and dietetic knowledge:

  • Contributes to the development of the nutrition and dietetic knowledge and practice of others.
  • Identifies training needs and participates in delivery of education and training programmes to others.

Developing and using personal networks:

  • Is aware of specialist groups and networks. Uses other dietitians to help develop solutions to problems.

Practice supervision:

  • Accesses practice supervision and uses to develop own practice.

Practice Education:

  • Participates in designated aspects of dietetic student training in practice placements.

Acting as a Resource:

  • Acts as a nutrition and dietetic resource providing answers to queries within scope of practice.
  • Contributes to development of nutrition and dietetic resources.

Quality of Service:

  • Accepts responsibility for the quality of the service they provide and acts to ensure the quality is maintained.
  • Participates in projects to monitor, evaluate and improve the quality of the service provided

Working in a Changing Environment:

  • Recognises that dietitians work within a continually changing environment.
  • Recognises the value of the proposed changes and is able to work within a changing environment.
  • Contribute effectively to change within area of practice.

Advocate for the Profession:

  • Promotes the profession by acting in a professional manner and as an advocate for their client group within their scope of practice.

Management of Resources:

  • Appropriately delegates tasks to other members of the team.
  • Effectively manages self by prioritising and time management.

Being a Leader:

  • Will recognise the importance of leadership in services and the difference between leadership and management.

National Policy and Strategy:

  • Demonstrates knowledge of relevant policies and strategies within practice area.
  • Has knowledge and understanding of local policies and strategies and knows how these influence their service delivery.

The expert dietitian demonstrates specialist knowledge of dietetic practice within their field of practice or knowledge across the breadth of dietetic practice. They actively seek to develop their own practice for the benefit of their service users, through integrating new knowledge obtained through reflection and evaluation or from external sources.

The expert dietitian will demonstrate sound problem solving skills where there is considerable variation in the presentation and health needs of service users and the setting for care. They will demonstrate flexibility in delivering care in complex and unpredictable contexts.

 

Qualifications

  • BSc Nutrition and Dietetics and or Masters in Dietetics
  • Registered Dietitian on Health Care Professions Council Register
  • Further Continued Professional Development in relevant field to include:
  • Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Group Course
  • Advanced Dietetics Practice in Paediatrics
  • Enteral Feeding Clinical Practice
  • Advanced Dietetic management of diabetes
  • Supervision Skills and clinical Educator
  • Leadership


Main Activities

Case load:

  • Caseload is more complex and the practitioner is responsible for their clinical decisions in single and multi-disciplinary settings.
  • Will take responsibility for projects in different settings.

Autonomy:

  • May have responsibility over more than one area of practice or setting. They manage their own workload; identifying problems and solutions, implementing these with support as necessary.
  • Provides advice on the care of individuals to the MDT.
  • Practice is shaped by the context within which dietitian practices.
  • Uses developed communication skills to empower individuals and groups.
  • Developing knowledge and skills in one or more specialist areas.
  • Demonstrates specialist knowledge of dietetic practice within their scope or further develops broad knowledge to undertake practice without close supervision.
  • Relevant post graduate development in practice area which meets the needs of the service and the service users including specialist short courses, reflection on practice, practice supervision, mentoring.
  • Academic study is likely to be at honours level or above.

Multidisciplinary Team Working:

  • Demonstrated effectiveness in working within the multi-disciplinary team by actively working to promote the team, improve its functioning and promote the role of the dietitian within the team.

Policies:

  • Identify areas for development and proposes changes and developments in policy or guidance within their immediate dietetic environment.
  • Contributes to consultations on national policy and guidance.

Use of evidence base:

  • Integrates new evidence into own practice and shares with colleagues.
  • Identifies current evidence base for practice and applies critical appraisal skills to this.

Risk Management:

  • Demonstrates awareness of the risks and benefits of dietetic interventions in the more complex caseload and seeks to limit the risks; shares this with service users.
  • Is aware of health and safety and undertakes mandatory local training.

Research:

  • May become more actively involved in research both single and multi-professional.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Seeks to develop own practice through formal and informal evaluation of dietetic practice.
  • Contributes to audits in MDT.

Ethical Practice:

  • Manages ethical issues, dilemmas and conflicts within own area of practice.

Sharing nutrition and dietetic knowledge:

  • Leads on developing nutrition and dietetic education and training programmes for members of the multi-disciplinary team.

Developing and using personal networks:

  • Is an active member of speciality group
  • Uses single and multi-professional networks to develop self, practice and service.

Practice supervision:

  • Accesses practice supervision and undertakes the role of practice supervisor.

Practice Education:

  • Has responsibility for an area of dietetic student training in practice placements.

Acting as a Resource:

  • Develops nutrition and dietetic resources for use by dietitians and others.

Quality of Service:

  • Participates in projects which will improve the quality of the service and leads on aspects of the project as appropriate.

Working in a Changing Environment:

  • Actively and effectively participates in change and developments within area of practice.

Advocate for the Profession:

  • Promotes the profession by acting in a professional manner and as an advocate for their client group within their scope of practice.

Management of Resources:

  • Prioritise and coordinate a number of different or conflicting activities.

Being a Leader:

  • Will provide professional leadership within practice area.

National Policy and Strategy:

  • Demonstrates knowledge of relevant policies and strategies within practice area.
  • Has knowledge and understanding of local policies and strategies and knows how these influence their service delivery.

Advanced practice is at, or informed by, the forefront of nutrition and dietetics research and practice. An advanced dietitian demonstrates highly developed expert knowledge and skills within their field of practice, including outside traditional role boundaries, and will demonstrate originality and creativity in the application of these. The advanced dietitian will manage complex issues in situations where there is incomplete data, conflicting priorities (clinical, environmental, organisational, strategic, political or policy) and often no existing guidance. The advanced dietitian seeks to shape and influence the environment at different levels including local, regional, professional and national, in order to influence outcomes for their service users.

 

Qualifications

  • BSc Nutrition and Dietetics and or Masters in Dietetics
  • Registered Dietitian on Health Care Professions Council Register
  • Further Continued Professional Development in relevant field to include:
  • Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Group Course
  • Enteral Feeding Clinical Practice
  • Advanced Dietetic management of diabetes
  • Supervision Skills and clinical Educator
  • Leadership


Main Activities

Case load:

  • Manages complex and diverse work load systematically and creatively in their specific work setting.
  • May have extended role and manage medicines where this is relevant to their service users.

Autonomy:

  • Advanced responsibility within area of practice, managing workload within broad policy and guidance boundaries.
  • Provides advice on nutritional and dietetic care of the client population to the MDT.
  • Seeks to shape the environment in which services are delivered.
  • Has an extensive breadth and depth of knowledge within their specialist dietetic field, supported by a high level of skills in the application of this knowledge.
  • Extends the boundaries of own and others dietetic practice.
  • Demonstrates a highly developed systematic specialist knowledge to masters level equivalent.
  • Demonstrates originality in the application of knowledge, demonstrates an ability to undertake a lead role.

Multidisciplinary Team Working:

  • Provides leadership within multi-disciplinary team. Seeks to influence within the organisation and externally.

Policies:

  • Identifies service developments and suggests strategies for development and implementation.
  • Lead on local policy implementation.

Use of evidence base:

  • Is able to undertake systematic literature reviews and critically appraise the evidence identified and identify implications for practice.
  • Shares findings with team and profession.

Risk Management:

  • Actively manages the risks and benefits of their interventions within the context of the multidisciplinary team care (e.g. extended roles).
  • Is aware of health and safety and undertakes mandatory local training.

Research:

  • May lead research.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Actively seeks to develop area of practice through uni and multi-disciplinary team evaluation.
  • Contributes to national audits and development of standards.
  • Shares results with others and feeds results back into practice.

Ethical Practice:

  • Manages complex ethical issues, dilemmas and conflicts.
  • Supports others to manage ethical dilemmas

Sharing nutrition and dietetic knowledge:

  • Facilitate nutrition and dietetic education and training programmes and other development opportunities for dietitians, other professional groups and other staff.
  • Formulate and deliver education and training programmes for the profession.
  • Develops and supports the learning culture in the organisation.

Developing and using personal networks:

  • Actively contributes to specialist groups and uni – and multi-professional networks.

Practice supervision:

  • Undertakes the role of practice supervisor and mentor.
  • Will receive and provide supervision, which may be across professional boundaries.

Practice Education:

  • Has lead responsibility for an area of dietetic student training and may be lead trainer.
  • Provides input to academic education of dietitians.

Acting as a Resource:

  • Leads on development of nutrition and dietetic resources for national use within and outside the profession.

Quality of Service:

  • Accepts leadership roles in local, regional and national organisations and committees which seek to improve outcomes for service users.
  • Accepts leadership roles to promote dietetics and nutrition.

Working in a Changing Environment:

  • Recognises and manages change taking into account cultural and political considerations.
  • Is able to function effectively in a rapidly changing environment.

Advocate for the Profession:

  • Demonstrates willingness to share information, act as a resource and advocate for the profession locally and regionally and the team.

Management of Resources:

  • Effectively manages resources, which may include other members of the team.

Being a Leader:

  • Provides strong and effective clinical leadership across professional and organisational boundaries with a focus on service excellence.

National Policy and Strategy:

  • Has in depth knowledge of national, regional and local strategies and policies and their application in development and planning of services.

Within Dietetics there is an ongoing requirement for CPD across the dietetic profession.

 

Dietetic Assistant

  • Care Certificate
  • BDA Dietetic Support Worker Award  
  • Clinical supervision

Dietetic Assistant Practitioner

  • Care Certificate
  • BDA Dietetic Assistant Practitioner Award  
  • Clinical Supervision

Dietitian

  • Preceptorship 12month post graduate support:
  • CPD in post graduate areas:
    • Coeliac Disease Update: An Overview of Management 
    • Management of Chronic Kidney Disease stages 1-3 
    • Management of Cow’s Milk Allergy in Infants and Children 
    • Consolidating Dietetic Practice in Diabetes 
    • Building a Working Knowledge of Parenteral Nutrition 
    • Introduction to The Principles of Behaviour Change 
    • Advancing Dietetic Practice in Diabetes 
    • Building on the Skills and Knowledge of Enteral Nutrition  
    • Introduction to the Clinical Management of Childhood Obesity 
    • Introduction to Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Eating Disorders 
    • Clinical trainer and Supervision
    • The BDA support a Professional Development Tool Kit which can support CPD.

Specialised Dietitian and Advanced Dietitian

Further CPD and qualifications in chosen area of specialism for example:

  • Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Group Clinical Update Course
  • Masters level Allergy courses ran in Imperial College London and Southampton University
  • Modular Course for Paediatric Dietitians at MSc level
  • FODMAP Training
  • Leadership course are also needed in Leadership Roles and are supported by MPFT Training team.

Ciara McLaughlin

Hello, I'm Ciara McLaughlin and I'm the Operational Lead for Adult Dietetics in the community (Band 7).

 

What do you do in your role?

I manage a team of approximately 24 staff that consist of Admin, Office Coordinator, Dietetic Assistants, Dietetic Assistant Practitioners, Physical Activity Practitioner, Dietitians, Specialist Dietitians and Clinical Leads. We run a variety of specialist dietetic services including but not limited to Weight Management, Diabetes, Nutrition Support and Home Enteral Nutrition which also link into the various other MPFT community teams, Primary Care Networks, Hospitals (including bariatric teams and enteral feeding discharges) and care homes.

 

Have you always worked in this role?

No, I am new to this role but have worked within this dietetic team for over 11 years.

 

What other roles and departments have you worked in during your career?

I started within the weight management team as a Band 3 Dietetic Assistant, progressing to a Band 4 Dietetic Assistant Practitioner as the team grew in the Cannock area. The I became a Band 5 Weight Management Coordinator as the team joined up with all of South Staffs to provide weight management services which included nearly 50 staff. This role then changed when the Specialist aspect of weight management developed and joined up with the other specialist dietetic teams and my job became Band 5 Dietetic Coordinator.

 

What motivated you to move roles?

It coincided with the needs of the services and the team at the time. It was great to be able to develop within dietetics rather than having to switch teams as it’s a great team to be in.

 

What support helped you to make this change?

I feel my progression has always felt natural as I was supported to develop within each role, which paved the way for the next opportunity that came along. I have been supported to do so much training and learning within MPFT and we have strong support links both within the team and in the broader MPFT team.

 

What do you value about progressing your career at MPFT?

I really value feeling like you’re part of a big team at MPFT and we’re all working together to join up patient care and support each other. I feel valued by the Trust also and feel they really support staff wellbeing as well as listen to staff ideas and expertise from the ground up.

 

What would be your best piece of advice to others seeking a career in Dietetics?

It isn’t all about 'diet', an important part of what our service delivers is based on an holistic approach including exercise, behaviour change, communication, support, teamwork and supporting the management of long term conditions

Hello, I'm Lucy Rimmer and I'm a Dietetics Assistant Practitioner at the Haywood Hospital (Band 4).

 

What do you do in your role?

I implement dietary plans for patients referred for  nutritional support and non-complex  enteral feeds who are nutritionally compromised. I work alongside the dietitians supporting and facilitating home enteral feed discharges. I help support on the wards with training staff to understand the importance of identifying malnutrition and making the appropriate  referrals to the Haywood Dietetics service.

 

Have you always worked in this role?

No, I started my career after University as a Dietetic Assistant at Wolverhampton Acute Hospital, then progressed into an Assistant Practitioner role within MPFT.

 

What other roles and departments have you worked in during your career?

I started off as a personal trainer and realised I wanted more job satisfaction.  I then completed my BSC Hons in Human Nutrition which led to my first role in the private sector working on health screening and in the Bariatric clinic with the lead Dietitian.  From there I moved into the Acute Trust in Wolverhampton supporting the dietitians on the wards with patients and catering issues, I then moved into a community post in Burton working along the prescribing team looking at supporting patients with the right supplements, and then I moved to my current post at the Haywood Hospital.

 

What motivated you to move roles?

I loved the variety of the hospital case load, however the pace within a community hospital allows for you to engage better with your patients and ensure plans are working, allowing the job to be more rewarding for me. It also allows for a more MDT style of working.

 

What support helped you to make this change?

Completing further training supported by my Dietetic team lead.

 

What do you value about progressing your career at MPFT?

I’m now looking to progress further with the support of MPFT to undertake my Masters in Dietetics when it becomes available as the apprenticeship to allow me to progress in my career and become a Registered Dietitian.

 

What would be your best piece of advice to others seeking a career in Dietetics?

Gain experience first by doing some voluntary work within a team and then apply to do your Dietetics degree, ensure it’s the right choice for you it’s a very person centred job so make sure you love working frontline with people supporting them and you can communicate with all types of people before going any further.

Julia Grubb.jpgHello, I'm Julia Grubb and I'm a Specialist Community Dietitian for Physical and Mental Health within the Adult Dietetic Service (Band 6).

What do you do in your role?

My role is split 50/50 - providing a Dietetic service to inpatients on the mental health wards at St Georges Hospital, Stafford and patients living at home in the community in Staffordshire.

I provide evidence based expertise and guidance about nutrition to patients, their families and carers to help them meet their dietary needs. The aim is to empower and support patients so they can make changes to their diet to improve their health and wellbeing. I specialise in nutritional support which involves working with people who are eating less than usual and at risk of losing weight or are already undernourished. This focuses on the ‘food-first’ approach and advising on nutritional supplements if appropriate. In this role, I also support members of the multidisciplinary team who give day to day nutritional care to patients including paid carers, health care professionals, volunteers, supported living, day centre and respite staff. Usually, I would visit people in their own homes and on the wards at St Georges but due to Covid-19 precautions, we are mostly working remotely so I have had to adapt to using technology so I could still see my patients.

People with severe mental health disorders have reduced life expectancy and are affected by health inequalities more than the general population. They may have chronic physical conditions such as cardiovascular, respiratory and infectious diseases, diabetes and hypertension and risk becoming underweight and poorly nourished. Dietetics is integral in preventing and managing these conditions alongside their mental health needs. I listen to concerns and what is important to them from the patient and others involved in their care, then devise a nutrition plan together to complement mental health strategies to help them achieve their goal and monitor this.

In the Community part of my role, I work with patients living in their own homes, care homes and their carers to help them keep well. I am able to follow up patients discharged from St Georges, to ensure a continuity of care. I find it rewarding talking to patients about what matters to them and finding practical ways to improve their diet whether it be increasing dietary energy to prevent weight loss or discussing everyday sources of Vitamin D.

This is a really varied role and no two days are the same which I love! A typical day may include participating in a multidisciplinary meeting and devising a nutrition plan for a patient, being involved in the ‘Communication Passport’ project run by the SLT, preparation for seeing a new patient referred with IBD by reviewing latest ESPEN evidence based guidance for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, testing samples of nutritional supplements from different companies so I am aware of the differences for our patients and taking part in an online networking meeting of Dietitians working in mental health throughout the local area.

 

Have you always worked in this role?

No, I have only been in this role since November 2020 when I joined MPFT so it is a relatively new venture for me.

 

What other roles and departments have you worked in during your career?

My first Dietetic post was at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel. I loved working in the multicultural community and it gave be opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of Dietetics. As I wasn’t sure what I wanted to specialise in, I moved up to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham for a rotational post in liver, renal, trauma and orthopaedics for 3 years. One day, I attended a discharge planning MDT meeting for lady with Learning Disabilities being discharged with a PEG feeding tube. I was so impressed by the teams’ care-coordination and MDT working that I decided I wanted to work with them. I was fortunate they were recruiting and joined the small Dietetic Team, part of the Birmingham Service for People with Learning Disabilities. I worked with service users with LD and physical health needs including autism, education of healthy lifestyles, but later specialised in severe and profound LD. In 2008, our group of Dietitians and Nutrition Nurses published the British Dietetic Association Consensus Statement ‘Enteral Tube Feeding for People with Learning Disabilities in the Community.’

Due to the long commute, I decided to move and took up a Specialist Dietetic post for Stroke at Queens Hospital, Burton which included all the things I loved – working with patients and their families, MDT working, dysphagia and enteral tube feeding. It was a valuable experience in such a busy, past paced environment.

 

What motivated you to move roles?

I really enjoyed being part of the team but I found I missed having that longer term, therapeutic, working relationship with service users that I enjoyed with community working. I also wanted to return to working with people with mental health needs so this post seemed ideal for me.

 

What support helped you to make this change?

I saw the post advertised and immediately thought I would like it. I was worried that I didn’t have enough experience in mental health though and then there was the question of how to fit the school run in the full time hours! Before applying for the post I chatted to Kerry, AHP Lead for Mental Health, Liz, then the Operational Lead for Dietetics and the current locum post holder about what the role involves. I was pleased to know I would be able to accommodate childcare needs around my hours. A few months into post, learning about different mental health conditions has enabled me to provide tailored advice and helped me feel more confident in my new role.

 

What do you value about progressing your career at MPFT?

I am enjoying working with the Dietitian in the other half of this job share role and developing the post. I value the opportunities for learning and joint working with people in different roles across the Trust and I feel valued for my contributions and ideas.

 

What would be your best piece of advice to others seeking a career in Dietetics?

Dietetics is an exciting, dynamic area to work in with a diverse range of opportunities. In addition to the traditional degree courses, a great development are the new Apprenticeship courses, making it more accessible. Dietetics is well suited to people at different stages of their careers; if you are starting out in your career, please ensure you check the course entry requirements early on. If you have already started your career, perhaps in a related or totally different field, this experience may be very useful as a Dietitian.

Most people think of Dietitians working in a hospital but Dietitians also work in many other settings such as food manufacturers, charities, teaching, research and community for example. Talk to as many Dietitians as possible working in different areas to get a feel for the types of fields we work in. Contact a local Dietetics service as many offer shadowing, and consider volunteering in your area of interest to help you gain insight.

Also, check out The British Dietetic Association for information on working as a Dietitian.

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