What went on ...

BDA Chair Fiona McCullough thoughts on BDA Vision;

The variety of speakers throughout the day, both updates through formal presentation and personal experience through case studies really highlighted that now is the time for Dietitians to bring about change! As Change-Agents, we can implement more innovative ways of working.  We heard a call to action to make the most of the emerging opportunities through changes in the way healthcare is commissioned and accessed, as well as exploring new roles such as improving wellbeing in the workplace.

Steven Grayston, Chair of Professional Practice Board chaired the afternoon session and has provided a summary on what was discussed;

Catherine Blanchard and Vittoria Romano presented on the value of working in partnership with care homes to provide a unique and sustainable approach to malnutrition. They have managed to develop an extended team of Dietitians working on the food first approach and have developed a unique training package for Nursing Homes with widespread engagement from the Care home sector with 60% of Home meeting the rigorous standards to meet their certification process.

Helen Reilly introduced “Eat, Drink, Move!” a therapy led initiative to support people to keep well in and out of hospital. This aim was to increase the mobility of patients on a ward setting, with some rather stark data about the actual time people spend moving on a hospital ward and the impact that can have on their muscle strength and recovery from illness. A quote of “10 days in a hospital bed can age a person 10 years” is pretty alarming. By developing a mobility bundle to tackle low levels of mobility, significant improvements to health outcome were achieved.

Pauline Mulholland showcased the MOO clinic developed by her team: An early intervention Cow’s Milk Allergy (CMA) clinic for young babies successfully funded through a Health Foundation bid. This early intervention group clinic was developed using PDSA methodology supported through specific Consultant training to Dietitians to up skill them in allergy management and help them to deal with a variety of case presentations. It was developed to meet an increasingly demanding caseload that out stripped capacity. It involves a MDT clinic, group education and 1:1 assessment and a booklet with supporting advice. Waiting times were dramatically reduced and 100% of the outcomes were met by 90% of the babies in the service.

Cathryn George, a Macmillan Head and Neck Specialist Dietitian, presented her ground breaking CNS and AHP-led cancer follow up, including post treatment flexible nasendoscopy.  This service demonstrated the potential that can be achieved through the development of staff and the diversity of roles that can be undertaken in delivering safe patient care. Through Consultant training and a robust governance process Cathyrn and her nurse colleague were trained to undertake nasendoscopy to support the increasing  caseload of head and neck cancer patients. This was not only was proven to be a safe service, but a very cost effective service and one that resulted in a Macmillan team excellence award 2015.

Dr. Jenny Child and Professor Mary Hickson provided an excellent and very engaging summary of the progress of the “Future Dietitian 2025” project, with the broad aim that dietetics remains relevant in a rapidly changing world.

The scoping project has highlighted 7 key priorities including:

  1. Improving the public profile and perception of Dietitians
  2. Reconsider the scope of the profession and the outcomes we deliver
  3. Revising the training requirements to meet the ever changing demand of nutrition and dietetic care
  4. To help the profession to generate and disseminate best practice
  5. To enhance our influence and organizational leadership
  6. To extend research
  7. And to reaffirm the professional identity of dietetics.