BDA Awards – recognising excellence in the dietetic profession

BDA Awards – recognising excellence in the dietetic profession

04 July 2017

The British Dietetic Association hosted its annual Awards Dinner on the evening of 4 July 2017 in Birmingham. The BDA Awards were overseen by Chair Elect Caroline Bovey.



Ambassador of the Year

Our Ambassadors represent the BDA on a whole range of committees, working groups and task forces within Government, alongside other professions and in other organisations. Without our Ambassadors we could not influence policy in the way we do nor advocate on behalf of the profession to the same extent. Their contribution is huge and we like to say thank you to one person who has made a significant contribution to the way in which we represent our members and the profession.

Awarded to Alison Smith

Alison has represented the BDA on a number of important occasions this year, she has delivered at the All Party Parliamentary Group on patient safety, engaged with the CQC regarding nutrition standards, worked on the National Reference Group looking into the adoption of the IDDSI framework in the UK, liaised with Public Health England on care home nutrition guidance, worked with the Soil Association on Food for Life and Better Care programmes and finally worked with Health Education England on dementia, end of Life and hydration. Where does she get all the energy?!


Media Spokesperson of the Year

Our media presence is significant but we could not do this without our volunteer members. They provide a media presence across the printed word, TV, internet and radio. Each year we like to say thank you to one person who has shown a great commitment to this work.

Awarded to Anna Daniels

Anna has been an enthusiastic and proactive member of the spokesperson team since joining. Representing us in some very high profile coverage during 2016 & 2017, including Food Unwrapped; Tricks of the restaurant trade; ITV tonight; and Supershoppers. She covers a wide variety of topics in the press including superfoods; low calorie foods; high protein cereals; foods to eat in extreme weather; a healthy Christmas and more. Journalists often comment on her breadth of knowledge and ability to articulate nutrition messages to a variety of audiences.

Anna could not be with us this evening but she does have a good excuse. Last week to the day she had her second baby a little girl called Rose. She said on her win …

"First of all I am sorry that I am not able to attend tonights event and collect this award in person. With so many colleagues doing such a wonderful role supporting and promoting dietetics and the BDA I am very humbled and honoured to receive this award. 

The role of BDA media spokesperson is a highly important role within our dietetic realm. With so much 'false nutrition news' which is not new to us, being spread on the internet and in the press it is imperative that the general public have access to the facts and evidence. 

Not only have I enjoyed every aspect of the work that I do within the BDA it has helped me grow as a dietitian and also helped to build my confidence. I thank Danni and Tom and everyone in the BDA office along with the other active BDA spokespeople. 

I will continue to represent and ensure that the public not only know what a dietitian is, but continue to seek our advice as the gold standard. 


Trade Union Representative of the Year

Members turn to our Trade Union in times of need and they are essential to our support to the profession. Trade Union Representatives make time to listen to members, solve problems and make a huge difference to members' lives. The Trade Union Board likes to say thank you to one representative each year who demonstrates all the qualities of excellence and commitment.

 Awarded to Alison Campbell

Alison has been a local trade union rep for NHS Tayside since January 2015 and has been a member of the Scotland employment relations committee for the past two years. She recently supported members through a major re-organisation in the structure of the dietetic dept. She was also a first time delegate at the STUC Congress in Aviemore earlier this year where she spoke to the motion on Food Poverty in the UK on behalf of us. We hope that Alison continues her excellent work and will be a trade union rep for years to come!


Branch of the Year

Branches deliver local support and development for members. They are a vital part of the BDA providing events, CPD opportunities and access to networking. Each year, we recognise, one Branch which has typified excellence and best practice.

Awarded to Yorkshire

This year we had some excellent submissions from our branches, all of which are working hard to engage the BDA membership. The Yorkshire branch stood out in particular due to their drive for innovation, diversification and their excellent member communications.

Over the past year the branch have employed a wide range of tools to engage with their membership using social media, video clips, surveys, print media and cupcakes (!) to engage with their local members and beyond, even reaching as far as the sunny shores of Greece!


Specialist Group of the Year

Each Specialist Group makes a unique and significant contribution to the BDA's work. They respond to national consultations, represent the profession, advance clinical specialisms, support members and so much more. Each year we say thank you to one Group which has demonstrated why it should be regarded as 'Specialist Group of the Year'.

Awarded to Freelance Dietitians

Whilst all of the Specialist Groups were able to demonstrate high quality work throughout the year the Freelance Group stood out for a number of reasons.

The group have clearly evidenced that they evaluate their work on an ongoing basis and work together with members to ensure they meet their needs and support them going forward.  They also demonstrated that they use innovative communication techniques, which go beyond the norm.  It is also clear that their work on fees and the Freelance website has great potential to positively impact on members and the profession.

The BDA Honours are nominated by members for members, they are given for significant contributions to the profession either locally or in a specific speciality.


IBEX Honour

Presented to Marion Harvey, Jennifer McBratney and Julie Royle

Marion Harvey -  Marion was nominated for this honor by the Trade Union board. She has been a trade union representative at Watford Hospital, part of the West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust for 30 years. She has very recently retired but her last professional role was as the Deputy Head of Dietetics. For most of her working life, Marion has been a BDA Trade Union Rep. Marion has displayed an unwavering commitment to the work of the association and the trade union for over three decades. As a trade union representative, she has been an ambassador and spokesperson for the profession and highlighted both the work and the worth of dietitians.

Jennifer McBratney – Jennifer was nominated for this honor by the Northern Ireland board. Jennifer joined the NI Board in 2008 bringing her vast range of connections with health care and education across the region and across the Island. Since 2011, she has been the Deputy NI Constituency Council Member supporting the Board Chair in NI and at Council over the past 6 years.

Julie Royle - Julie was nominated for this honour by the Paediatric Specialist Group. Julie is a founder member of the PRING special interest group for paediatric renal dietitians. She has produced important and significant work in this capacity being published in a number of publications and has presented at all 4 International Paediatric Renal Dietitians Symposia to date, imparting her knowledge, practice and research to UK, European, American and Middle Eastern dietitians


 Fellowship Honour

Fellowship of the Association was first awarded in 1979 and to date 93 Fellowships have been awarded. Fellowship is our highest honour which the Association can bestow upon a member in recognition of their achievements. This year, Fellowship was awarded to:

Presented to Professor Kevin Whelan

Kevin joined the BDA over 20 years ago, since then he has shown a consistent commitment to high standards in nutrition and dietetic research. Since 2001 he has published 98 peer-reviewed papers across a variety of topics. His expertise is recognised not only by dietitians in the UK and further afield and by other professions too. He is an inspirational speaker and holds the attention of large rooms with robust science and a sense of humour.

As one of the few dietetic professors Kevin takes his role as an advocate of dietetic research, evidence based practice and robust clinical work very seriously and actively promotes the profession on twitter where he challenges non-science in food and nutrition and champions high quality research, the successes of students and colleagues and advocates for men in dietetics.


General Education Trust (GET)

We also presented awards to the General Education Trust Award Winners who were profiled during Dietitians Week (12 – 16 June 2017) Find out more about each of the winners and their work

Presented by Morag MacKellar OBE and Sue Acreman 


Dame Barbara Clayton Award for Innovation and Excellence in Dietetic Practice

Awarded to Dr Brian Power for the development of a dietitian-led workplace-based behaviour change intervention targeted to nurses

Morag MacKeller OBE, GET Awards Coordinator commented on Brian’s work;

The judges agreed this submission was a clear winner of this year’s Dame Barbara Clayton Award.  The entry demonstrated innovation and new ways of working within dietetic services drawing on recent advances in workplace programme development and behaviour change theory.   Importantly the work can be readily applied by Dietitians in other areas of the UK as a basis for improvement tailored and applied across different workplace settings.


Rose Simmonds Award

Awarded to Kaylee Allan with Helen McWilliam and Steven Taylor for their published work ‘a randomised controlled feasibility and proof-of-concept trial in delayed gastric emptying when metoclopramide fails’

Morag MacKeller OBE, GET Awards Coordinator commented on entry;

The submission was a robust paper describing an excellent  piece of original and practical clinical research.  The work – a randomised controlled feasibility and proof-of-concept trial - is a significant step forward in the nutritional management and feeding of ventilated patients and will enable greater use of enteral nutrition for those with delayed gastric emptying.  The research demonstrates the significant contribution that the dietetic profession can make to advancing both science and practice along with improvement in patient care.


Elizabeth Washington Award

Awarded to Mary O’Kane for educational research on improving the long term follow-up of patients undergoing bariatric surgery

Morag MacKeller OBE, GET Awards Coordinator commented on Mary’s work;

Mary O’Kane led the development and production of evidence based guidelines.  These are aimed at improving the long term follow up of patients undergoing bariatric surgery particularly in the subsequent years after discharge from specialist centre follow up.  Developed in consultation including significant input from patient representatives four different models of shared care are identified with the dietitian playing a key role in annual dietetic assessment.  The work has been recognised internationally as best practice in an area of care that is often neglected.

Elsie Widdowson Memorial Lecture

Joyce Thompson presented the Elsie Widdowson Memorial Lecture on Monday 12 June following the AGM and as part of Dietitians Week entitled Realism in nutrition and dietetics. Her talk focussed that the UK is dominated by considerations of malnutrition (undernutrition & obesity) and the complex interplay between poverty and food security. A public health approach is necessary. She addressed how we as clinical dietitians can be influential in improving nutritional wellbeing at scale and ultimately, be true to the values and ambitions we held when we entered the profession? Find out more about the memorial lecture 

BDA thank the following people for their involvement in the presentations; Caroline Bovey, Andy Burman, Sue Kellie, Kate Hall, Sue Acreman and Morag MacKeller OBE.

Information on the BDA Awards can be founded on the BDA Website

Information on the BDA Honours can be found on the BDA Website

The General and Education Trust (GET) Awards were profiled during Dietitians Week find out more about each winner 

Information on the Trust Fund can be found on the BDA Website 

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