Impact of Dietetic Services on food service, food provision and food quality

Working in partnership with other disciplines such as nursing services, dietitians ensure processes and procedures that promote good nutritional care are embedded (such as red tray system, protected meal times, meal time volunteers, bench-marking).

Providing an excellent food provision for hospital patients or residents in nursing and care settings is complex, and it is often challenging to appreciate all aspects of the food service.

A robust food chain will contribute to a good food service and within hospital settings, this will work best when there is good communication between the various disciplines of all staff, from chef to nurse and from store-man to food service assistant at ward level; everyone has a role to play. All dietitians can play a key part in this process, but there is a recommendation for a dedicated catering liaison dietitian in every hospital department to lead development, conduct training and manage processes.

Dietitians have the skills to be involved at every level of care setting food and beverage services; they have a unique overview of food services and knowledge of how food and beverage services impact on nutritional care and clinical outcomes.