Where have we been ...

Where we've been, what we've been doing, who we've been influencing ... 

External events logo collage


Coming soon - Find out where we will be in 2019

BDA attend a variety of events, our aim is to highlight the professional, promote dietetics and the work currently being undertake in the profession by members and the BDA including specialist groups.

Find out more about the shows we have attended promoting dietetics in the past two years. .

Interested in supporting and representing the BDA find out where we will be in 2019!


It was an excellent experience; I met many members of the BDA and had the chance to work with a number of other student dietitians who had travelled from all over the UK to volunteer.

Hannah Harnett, BDA Student Member Volunteer

NES Cradle to Grave

Jacqueline Walker attended to showcase the excellent work of dietitians within primary care and to highlight their untapped potential in November 2018.

At this event GPs were particularly interested in the benefits of dietitians working further upstream and focusing on early intervention in relation to type 2 diabetes, malnutrition, cow's milk allergy, IBS and coeliac disease.  Aside from improving care dietitians can reduce GP workload and positively influence the increasing costs of medications and nutrition borderline substances.  All GPs at the event want dietitians to work directly with them as fully integrated members of the multidisciplinary primary care team. They also completely recognised the need for dietitians to work differently in order to manage increasing demand as there will never be enough dietetic capacity to see everyone face to face in one to one consultations. Find out more

National Primary Care Conference

Lisa Williams, All Wales Nutrition Training Facilitator, Cardiff and Vale UHB & Chair of BDA Wales Board and Olivia Colleypreist, Paediatric Dietitian, Aneurin Bevan UHB attended the 3rd National Primary and Community Care Conference on 15 November to host the BDA Wales exhibition stand.

The conference focused on The Strategic Programme for Primary Care in Wales within the context of ‘A Healthier Wales’ and provided an opportunity to discuss with GPs and other stakeholders the role dietitians play in prevention  and early intervention and primary care services e.g. enabling people to self manage their long-term condition and reducing the need for referral to secondary care.

Find out more about the BDA Wales Board

Advancing Healthcare Awards - Northern Ireland

We attended the conference prior to the awards to promote the dietetic workforce in Northern Ireland. We were delighted that three dietitians were shortlisted and on the night, Nikki Lyttle and team won the Department of Health award for transforming the workforce and then they were awarded overall winner! Find out more about their work Neonatal AHPs Aiding Holisitc Partnerships in the winner’s guide.

Nutrition Society Summer Conference

Getting Energy Balance Right in July, was packed full of stimulating presentations covering topics from biochemistry and the role of gut microbes through to working with schools and local authorities. Judy Lawrence and members of the BDA Obesity Specialist Group got inspired, represented the profession and met with colleagues. Judy commented 'It was great to see so many female Professors presenting their work and to catch up with dietitians and nutritionist colleagues'

Allergy + free from show

The BDA Food Allergy Specialist Group represented the profession, and Dr Lisa Waddell spoke on 'Cow's Milk Allergy' at the Allergy + Free From Masterclass. They engaged with the professional healthcare audience; explaining the varied and expanding dietetic role and the positive impact dietitians have.

NHS Scotland

Focusing on how #DietitiansDoPrevention in diabetes and cancer, the BDA Scotland board represented the profession at NHS Scotland. Thank you to everyone who supported the stand, especially Lynne Stevenson and Amanda Hallson.

BBC Good Food Show

We returned to the summer edition of the BBC Good Food Show, we were delighted for dietitians to be speaking on the summer stage alongside host Chris Bavin. 

Kaitlin Colucci cooked 3 ways with Protein, Rachel Margetts showcased how to make your own fakeaway!, Sophie Claessens prepared Good Mood Food – Guilt-free energising snacks to stop negativity in its tracks and Let's talk about meat with Paul McArdle and Duane Mellor demonstrated recipes without meat.

In addition, we also had a stand at the show, providing advice to the public. Thank you to everyone who volunteered.

Primary Care and Public Health

We attended the show in May, to promote the role of dietitians in primary care and to highlight the new primary care research project being funded by the BDA. Find out more about our ongoing work to highlight the importance of dietetic services in primary care


Northern Ireland Confederation

BDA Northern Ireland Board returned to represent the dietetic workforce, over two days in April 2018. The board showcased examples of the fantastic work the dietetic workforce, in Northern Ireland do across a range of specialisms and settings to prevent illness and improve health. We engaged with the audience and explained the varied and expanding role of dietitians within health and social care and the positive impact they are achieving in patient outcomes.

Find out more about the BDA Northern Ireland Board

Diabetes UK

Diabetes 2018 The Diabetes UK Professional Conference is an important annual event for the Diabetes Specialist Group, it provides an opportunity to showcase the work that specialist diabetes dietitians are involved in. This year was particularly important as the updated ‘Evidence-based nutrition guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes’ were launched at the conference.

In addition the group ran a stand at the event, supported by students from Hertfordshire and London Metropolitan University. This year our ‘guess the carbs in the fish tank contest’, designed by Sian Rilstone, excited particular attention. Well done to Christina Neaverson for closest guess. Everything, including the ‘sand’ and ‘seaweed’ was edible mainly sugar and the tank contained 1543g of carbohydrate.

Thank you also to Magdelena Brandner, who designed a poster highlighting evidence based, patient centered dietetic care. View the poster

Health & Wellbeing at Work

h&w 2018 For the second year running BDA Work Ready attended the Health and Wellbeing at Work held at the NEC, Birmingham. 

Christina Titlow BDA Work Ready Marketing Manager comments on the show

This year Work Ready previewed the new Corporate Hydration Packs “Stay Afloat – Keep Hydrated” to HR, CSR and occupational Health professionals which were really well received. Myself and Jo Lewis (Work Ready Project Lead) were accompanied by accredited Work Ready dietitians Nicky Gilbert and Johanna Hignett on the stand; both of which held inspiring sessions educating professionals on the topic of hydration. Accredited dietitian Megan Whelan presented ‘Supporting Women in the Workplace’ in the wellbeing theatre which is a focus for the Work Ready programme. The show for Work Ready was a great success enabling us to connect with over 100 professionals and also educate them in the field of health and wellbeing, with which we hope for them to share their experiences with their organisations!

WelshConfed 2018

WalesConfed18Wales Board Chair along with two board members attended the recent WelshConfed Conference in Cardiff on 7th February. Throughout the very busy day we had opportunities to hear a number of speakers including the  Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Vaughan Gething presenting the keynote speech in which he spoke about the final report of the Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales and about a fund which will support transformation of services across NHS Wales. We also participated in breakout sessions including “People at the heart of our services” and “Value based healthcare”.

Additionally, we put on a BDA display with a range of information including the launch of our Welsh language primary care leaflet. This was very well received and sparked a great deal for interest amongst the other delegates who included chief executives from all the Wales health boards, Directors of Therapies and Health Science, Directors or Public Health and colleagues from other AHP professions among many others.


Caroline Bovey, Chair of Wales Board said

The Wales Board saw this WelshConfed Conference as a unique opportunity to meet and engage with influencers from across NHS and Social Care providers in Wales. We’ve been able to consolidate many of our existing links and to begin to develop new relationships with a range of strategic organisations. We are happy to have had this opportunity to promote the role and contribution of the profession across Wales from prevention and optimisation of health,  through to primary, secondary and tertiary care and research


Allied Health Support Workers engagement in Public Health Conference

We attend to promote and highlight the work of dietitians to the wider AHP audience. The keynote speaker Suzanne Rastrick (Chief Allied Health Professions Officer) highlighted two case examples of work done by dietitians!


Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)

RCGP materials imageWe engaged with the audience at Royal College of GP’s Annual Conference over 2 days in Liverpool (12 & 13 October) Our purpose for attending was to promote the role of a dietitian, we made the case for GP's to collaborate with the dietetic workforce and the impact this can have!


The BDA External Affairs and Education and Professional Development teams spoke with GPs about their experience of working with dietitians in primary care, and the difficulties they faced in accessing dietetic expertise. We were greatly encouraged to hear that many GPs were keen to work more closely with dietitians and will be taking forward work with the RCGP and others to develop case studies and highlight opportunities for dietitians to get involved in primary care.


This forms part of our wider work on developing the role of dietitians in primary care, and we need members to work with us on this important area. Find out more about our work in Primary Care.


New Scientist Live

new scientist standWe attended the four day show (28 Sept - 1 Oct) at London ExCeL.

New Scientist Live attracted 30,459 visitors, although we didn't speak to all - we hope we were able to provide some evidence based advice on nutrition.


We undertook myth busting on the stand, with the content being provided by members based on real life comments and questions from their patients!


Kevin Whelan

Professor Kevin Whelan represented and spoke on the Human theatre stage on Gut microbiome and diet: your route to better gastrointestinal health


Ursula Arens, BDA Member and Freelance writer volunteered on the stand and commented

New Scientist exhibition is full of science-is-good enthusiasts: questions and conversations are on a higher level than at other public exhibitions, but always conclude with admiration for the profession of dietetics. There are few better opportunities to share examples of the dietetic perspective, and get a “wow, and thanks” response.



International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO)

IFSOLucy and Gillian from BDA Obesity Specialist Group attended the pre congress day to profile dietitians working in this field.

Gillian Galway commented

We attended the IFSO Pre-Congress course and represented the BDA Obesity Specialist Group. A good variety of topics were covered with many sessions of interest to dietitians such as bariatric surgery and type 2 diabetes, patient support and nutritional deficiencies. The event was well attended by dietitians and it was great to see a good turnout. Mary O’Kane, the Bariatric Officer for the Obesity Specialist Group, sits on the IFSO scientific committee and has informed us planning has started for IFSO 2018 in Dubai. Sign us up!



Allergy CPD Masterclass

We attended the CPD masterclass at the allergy + free from show on 7 July 2017. We attended with support from the Food Allergy Specialist Group

The masterclass included talks from some of the leading professionals in allergy and was extremely well attended by dietitians, GPs and other medical professionals. We took along a number of our Food Fact Sheets on Allergy – these proved extremely popular and we referred a great many attendees to the BDA Food Fact Website, and a number of members expressed an interest in joining the Food Allergy Group.

UK Anti Doping (UKAD)

The BDA attended the recent UKAD forum based at Loughborough University. There were lots of interesting discussions around clean sport, the risks and challenges associated with supplements and the medicalisation of sport. It was a great networking opportunity and a way to increase awareness of SENr (Sport and Exercise Nutrition register) which is run as part of the BDA core business.

NHS Scotland

nhs scotland stand The BDA Scotland Board attended the conference to engage with the NHS Scotland workforce and co-determine the priority 'asks' for the forthcoming Scottish Government diet and obesity strategy. Members of the Board, Joyce Thompson and Ruth Campbell were part of an expert panel for a parallel session on 'weight matters - a collaborative approach to shape Scotland's diet and obesity strategy' which explored key aspects of the new strategy.


Joyce Thompson, Scotland Constituency Council Member commented on their attendance;


The Scotland Board consider the NHSScotland Event as a unique opportunity to meet and engage with dietitians and other health and social care professionals and decision makers from across Scotland, to build on established links and develop new links with other key organisations. There is always a need to remind decision makers on the importance of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of disease and the crucial role of dietitians in leading on the transforming food, fluid and nutritional care. 


Find out more about the BDA Scotland Board


BBC Good Food Show - Eat Well

Good Food ImageAlong with 27 volunteers, we represented dietetics in the Eat Well at the BBC Good Food Show.  We ran a busy drop in clinic for four days answering the public questions and giving advice on where to go next. There were 99,000 visitor to the show and it felt like we spoke to most!

In additional to the drop in clinics we also have a dietitian a day on the healthy kitchen stage, the talks included;


  • Avocados two ways.. the secrets to a healthy and balanced salad & delicious chocolatey dessert by Registered Dietitian Nichola Whitehead from Nic’s Nutrition
  • Healthy cooking made tasty! Recipes and nutrition tips from a Registered Dietitian Azmina Govindji
  • Nuts about almonds....the facts and a bit of inspiration to keep your snack drawer fresh with Registered Dietitian Lucy Jones
  • How to Feed Your Inner Universe – talking all about fermented drinks with Registered Dietitian Dr Megan Rossi


Northern Ireland Confederation (NICON)


 The BDA Northern Ireland Board attended the conference with their newly development call to action. The theme of the conference was transformation in practice - delivering together. Member volunteers Ruth Balmer; Jennifer McBratney; Maria Tynan and Student Member Maeve O'Shea alongside Claire Holmes, Northern Ireland Board Chair and Pauline Mulholland.

Claire Holmes, Northern Ireland Constituency Council Member      commented on their attendance;


The NI Board sees NICON as an important opportunity to meet and influence the health and social care decision makers in the province as well as a venue for networking - building on already established rapport with other health professionals and forging new links with other key organisations. There is always a need to remind the decision makers that the AHP professions - dietitians among them of course - have a powerful role to play in transforming health and social care which is not always recognised.

In the words of Pauline Mulholland, Head of Dietetic Service at The Ulster Hospital commented in one of the parallel session ''We are part of the solution!''

Find out more about the call to action and Northern Ireland Board

Primary Care and Public Health

Primary Care BDA attended the two day event in Birmingham to profile dietitics to the range of professional working in Primary Care. There were a number of dietitians on the programme and we launched our new leaflet on dietitians working in Primary Care on the stand Dietetic - practice, education & evidence.



National Dietetic Gastroenterology Symposium

Gastro stand picture

The BDA was represented in Sheffield on 12 May by Lisa Vokes, Chair of Gastroenterlogy Group, Vera Todorovic and Linda Cantwell from Parenteral and Enteral Group and Sammie Gill, BDA Policy Officer.



A prize draw for a signed copy of Advanced Nutrition and Dietetics in Gastroenterology          was won by BDA Member Abigail Blockley.

Lisa had this to say about her experience;


The symposium was a great event to attend as a representative of the BDA and specifically the Gastroenterology specialist group alongside Vera and Linda from Parenteral and Eternal Group   

The opportunity to network was the most pleasurable part of the day, personally speaking, as there were lots of new faces to meet and work alongside as well as new folks who were able to express an interest in the specialist activities of the gastro and other BDA branches. I even got a bit of 'business' done, meeting the clinical specialist leads and putting names to faces. 

The stand received a good stream and visitor and there were many entries to our prize draw as evidence of this. I demonstrated the great interest in the BDA specialist publications (gastro and diabetes to date, obesity and nutrition support to come!).  The presentations themselves were interesting, and kept to a good pace. I think I can safely say everyone learnt something be that lots or little, and on the bigger picture or smaller details.  The ground that dietitians are breaking was highlighted by the presentation of more than one example of pioneering dietetic work and it seems there is lots upcoming at meetings and presentations in the near future including a best clinical science abstract at BSG from the Kings group....there is lots to celebrate and still more to come!!

It was a great opportunity and I would recommend for other members to get involved and support the profession at the events BDA attend.

Linda from PENG added her thoughts on the event;


A brilliant free event, which attracted over 300 dietetic delegates. A great opportunity to speak to fellow BDA members and with PENG and gastro specialist group represented it provide committee members and members opportunity to engage and share the benefits of membership with non-members too!


Diabetes UK

Diabetes standThe BDA was represented by the Diabetes Specialist Group.

Annually group members with the support of local dietetic students attend the three day conference and exhbition.

A great opportunity to network, hear updates in the field and promote dietitians working in diabetes.

This year the group organised a competition with carbs and cals - guess the amount of carbs in a jar. (see picture)

Congratulations to Saji Pappachan, DSN for guessing closest to 1828g.

Julie Taplin, Chair of Diabetes Specialist Group commented on their attendance


The event provides the Diabetes Specialist Group with a unique opportunity to highlight the role of dietitians working with people with diabetes. In 2016, dietetic students from Glasgow helped  support the stand which proved hugely successful and was repeated  again this year with some wonderful students from Leeds and Chester.

In addition to being able to promote our profession and attend some great lectures our committee member Paul McArdle hosted the Specialist Dietitians lunchtime networking meeting. This is always  well-attended and enables opportunities to share best practice and promote key achievements, future goals and membership of the Diabetes Specialist Group. I would like to thank the BDA and committee members that helped make the event such a success.



Health & Wellbeing at Work

Work ready stand

 BDA Work Ready attended the 2 day show to promote the programme.

 Jo Lewis, BDA Work Project Lead comments on the show

A good opportunity to meet occupational health and HR professionals and hear more about their plans for staff wellbeing. We spoke to over 100 people about BDA Work Ready on the stand, and our accredited dietitians Sue Baic, Kate Roberts and Megan Whelan presented in the wellbeing theatre. After the event, we held a meet-up for the accredited dietitians and around 20 were able to come along for an update and share their experiences in the first year.


Innovations in sport and exercise nutrition

rsm SENr attended to support and represent the register.

The RSM conference was a buzzing event with lots of inspirational speakers in sport and exercise nutrition. The aim of the conference was to provide an update on the latest scientific concepts, insights into research and innovation programmes, whilst also discussing the future directions of sport and exercise nutrition. We had lots of engagement at the SENr stand and questions about joining the register.