2018's theme was Dietitians Do Prevention, and we highlighted the fantastic work that all dietitians do to prevent illness or optimise health, be that in primary care or acute settings, industry or education.
All four nations of the UK have identified improving prevention and public health as key to the ongoing sustainability of health services. Across the UK, there is a growing belief that a greater focus on prevention and public health activity is going to be vital to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.
In the Five Year Forward View, NHS England state that the sustainability of the NHS, and the economic prosperity of Britain, all now depend on "a radical upgrade in prevention and public health". In their most recent strategic framework NHS Scotland claim that the “long term need for fairness and prevention to be at the heart of all policy and practice is what drives us”. The principles of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act call for more investment in preventative measures to ensure a healthier Wales. In Northern Ireland, the Making Life Better framework includes embedding prevention across Health and Social Care services as a key theme.
We may use different terminology in different areas, but all dietitians do prevention and we need to show how dietitians can play a key role in this important area.
We were delighted to win the Association Award 2018 for Best Social Media Campaign!
Each day had a different focus, looking at a different aspect of prevention.
- Recovery and Mental Health: Diet and nutrition can play a key role in both preventing and managing mental ill health. Good nutrition and hydration can also help aid recovery and prevent relapse.
- Rehab and Reablement: Dietitians provide rehabilitation to people who have been unwell (such as after an operation or having a stroke). Support from a dietitian can provide symptom relief, reduce risks of further illness and prevent admissions to hospital.
- Public Health and Primary Prevention: Good nutrition and hydration is fundamental to good health. Dietitians help the public at large to stay healthy which helps prevent illness and diet related conditions such as malnutrition or obesity.
- Optimising Health and Secondary Prevention: For people who have a health condition, like diabetes or dementia, support from a dietitian can provide symptom relief, prevent complications and optimise quality of life.
- Healthy Conversations and Making Every Contact Count: Dietitians don't just discuss diet and nutrition when they do prevention, they discuss related issues that impact on health like exercise, smoking and social factors. Dietitians can then signpost people to where they can access further help for these non-dietary issues.