Who are the Dietitians?
The Nutrition & Dietetic Department provides a service to all the hospitals and the community across Fife. The dietitians work in clinical teams to provide specialist services all round Fife. They are supported by dietetic assistants and clerical staff.
Dietetic Department Teams
The Dietetic Department has been arranged into specialist clinical teams to provide an equitable and good quality service for the patients in Fife. However, there are obvious overlaps within each team enabling better cover and shared knowledge and skills.
The Acute Team provides care for all acute in patients and provides some outpatient clinics and support to consultant led outpatient clinics. The Dietitians provide a whole range of therapeutic diets as described above as well as referrals resulting from the MUST (malnutrition universal screening tool). This is applied to all patients on their admission to hospital to identify those requiring nutritional support due to weight loss or malnutrition.
The Diabetes Team provides care for all adults (from approx. 15 years of age) with all types of Diabetes across acute and primary care. Having well controlled diabetes is down to managing nutrition, lifestyle and medications effectively. Dietitians have a key role to make nutrition information accessible and practical. They work as part of a specialist multidisciplinary team and within a care pathway that incorporates structured education, Insulin Pumps, pregnancy, young people’s & transition service.
The Nutritional Support Team provides care for adults aged 16-75 years. Dietitians are critical to the prevention and treatment of malnutrition as they increase nutritional intake and promote weight gain. The treatment includes the use of Oral Nutritional Supplements or where necessary, the use of artificial enteral feeding; both in hospital and at home.
The Learning Disabilities Team provides care for Adults with a Learning Disability across NHS Fife. The service is part of the Community Learning Disability Team (3 teams across Fife). These Dietitians often lead or contribute to specialist feeding teams tackling rigid feeding choices, food phobias, dysphagia, long term enteral feeding and sensory feeding issues.
The Older People’s Team provides care for frail, older people in Fife, generally but not exclusively over the age of 75 years old, within the Primary Care setting. This will include both the use of therapeutic diets for long term conditions, as well as the various forms of nutritional support using Oral Nutritional Supplements and enteral feeding regimes. A large part of the work involves working with care homes on the overall nutritional provision for all the residents to ensure a healthy diet.
The Paediatric Team provides care for infants, children and young people from 0-16 years, or 0-18 years while still at secondary school. This involves a selection of conditions particular to children; however some continue into adulthood as chronic ongoing conditions; i.e. Cow’s Milk Allergy/ Complex Food Allergy, Diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis, Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Home Enteral Feeding and Nutritional Education.
The Primary Care Team provides care for Mental Health, All Round Care, Health Improvement, ANITT, BEST, Infant & Maternal Health, Adult Weight Management and Keep Well. These Dietitians work in a range of specialist areas and use therapeutic diets, nutritional support and healthy eating advice depending on whether the patient comes to clinic or a group session.
There is a difference between Dietitians and Nutritionists; Nutritionists are qualified to provide information about food and healthy eating; some qualified Nutritionists work in the NHS in health promotion.
Anyone can call themselves a Nutritionist, Nutritional Therapist, Clinical Nutritionist or Diet Expert. They are a non-regulated group and are not permitted by law to call themselves ‘Dietitians’.
1st June 2016.