Nutrition is part of everyday life. Dietitians support people to make food choices throughout life that will maximise their health.
Dietitians are key to ‘preventing people dying prematurely’ as well as ‘helping people to recover from episodes of ill health and injury’ (two of the five domains in the National Outcomes Framework). They are key to enabling the NHS meet the Long Term Plan and the aims of Public Health England in ‘From evidence into action: opportunities to protect and improve the nation’s health’.
Dietitians provide evidence-based nutrition and dietary advice and guidance to the public, healthcare professionals and managers, local councils, industry, academic institutions and the media.
Dietitians are specially trained nutrition experts, and this means people are protected and can be assured that they will get the latest credible evidence-based information.
Dietitians call on the government to:
- Make sure everyone living with chronic conditions (for example: diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, cancer, respiratory conditions, coeliac disease, mental health problems and dementia) and or obesity has access to dietetic treatment and support to manage their own condition and remain as independent as possible.
- Ensure that people (of all ages) who are overweight or obese can access evidence based weight management services, that utilises dietetic expertise, and meets their needs.
- Ensure that care pathways for chronic diseases include access to dietitians.
- Utilise dietetic expertise to deliver structured group education to people with chronic conditions so that they can make long term behaviour changes to optimise their quality of life.
- Ensure that preventable malnutrition is recognised and treated effectively thus optimising treatment costs and improving the quality of life for patients.
- In hospital, the community and in care homes; systems are led by dietitians to ensure identification and prevention of malnutrition and dehydration.
- Use dietitians to provide expert dietary advice to those with malnutrition in the presence of other comorbidities influencing health and lifestyle.
- In hospital settings dietitians should be closely involved in the development of menus, ensure the availability of appropriate food and fluids and maintain high nutritional standards.
- Encourage all GP practices to utilise the expertise of dietitians.
- Expensive GP time can be freed by the provision of advice and treatment by dietitians in the GP practice for people with diabetes, gastrointestinal conditions (such as coeliac disease and IBS), heart failure, neurological conditions (such as dementia, multiple sclerosis) and obesity (with comorbidities).
- Ensure clinically appropriate and cost effective use of Borderline Substances and Oral Nutritional Support through dietetic leadership and treatment.
- Make sure adults and children in England can consume a healthy and sustainable diet to prevent ill-health, obesity, type II diabetes and some cancers.
- Ensure public health nutrition programmes, led by dietitians, are a work stream within every Health and Wellbeing Plan.
- Utilise experience and expertise of dietitians to design, implement and lead community wide interventions to influence food behaviour in the schools, workplaces, communities.
- Ensure equality of access to a healthy sustainable diet.