Appendix 2: Sample Job Description

Food Service Dietitian Job Description - Band 7


  • To be an expert nutrition and dietetic resource to the Catering department providing support to ensure compliance with recommended healthcare nutrition and hydration standards to provide an effective food and drink service for patients, staff and visitors.
  • To work in partnership with the multidisciplinary team (Catering, Dietetics, Speech & Language Therapy and Nursing) on a strategic level in the development, delivery and evaluation of the food and drink service in order to achieve healthcare food service best practice.
  • To drive continuous improvements on catering matters and improve practices at ward level.

Main responsibilities

Food service

  • To ensure the Trust provides food and drink that meets the nutritional requirements of all patients, including therapeutic requirements.
  • To liaise with the Nutrition & Dietetics department to scope all patient nutritional requirements to ensure they are included in the Trust’s food and drink service specification.
  • To champion the needs of patient groups with special dietary needs with nursing staff and catering to ensure the dietary needs of all patients are met.
  • To keep up to date on all relevant nutritional standards, guidelines and legislation and translate these into Trust targets and policies.
  • To assess compliance of current practice to relevant food and drink legislation, guidelines and standards and aim for ongoing improvement.
  • To advise on relevant nutrition and dietetics matters and provide expertise which draws upon the reviewing of current research, publications and best practice.
  • To be involved in the sign off process of new ingredients and/or products to ensure they comply with relevant guidelines and standards.
  • To lead on patient menu reviews, ensuring that all nutritional, diet coding and allergen content meets national standards and encompasses all reasonable dietary requirements, religious beliefs and the wide range of cultural diets.
  • To develop and apply meaningful diet coding criteria to menus ensuring that all proposed menus are coded correctly for patients in line with the BDA Nutrition & Hydration Digest guidelines.
  • To analyse the nutritional and allergen content of all recipes (if meals are prepared onsite) and ensure diet coding and ingredient information is available at ward level.
  • To review the nutritional and allergen content of all recipes (if meals are bought in) and ensure diet coding and ingredient information is available at ward level.
  • To liaise with any external organisations involved in the food supply chain to ensure compliance with hospital food standards and Trust specifications.
  • To assist with catering presentations, sampling days and preparing dietetic catering information on new and/or existing food service tenders (if the service is outsourced).
  • To conduct menu capacity analysis reviews to ensure menus are capable of providing adequate nutritional value.
  • To work towards healthier food for staff and visitors, in line with the Government Buying Standards for Food and government dietary advice such as The Eatwell Guide.

Leadership and management

  • Plan, develop, deliver and evaluate appropriate training to others within the organisation.
  • Plan, set and monitor nutritional standards in food and drink service provision across the Trust. This will include advocating for and contributing to the adaptation of national standards for use in the local setting.
  • Provide leadership and guidance to the Trust board on relevant food service issues, lead on related documents and policies e.g. Trust nutrition and hydration policy, Trust food and drink strategy, Trust food and drink service specification.
  • Liaise with Directorates, Divisions, stakeholders and other professions regarding service planning and development.
  • Provide leadership by representing the catering and facilities departments and the dietetic profession on relevant groups and working parties within the Trust.

Personal and Professional Development

  • To proactively keep abreast of current research, best practice and trends in nutrition and dietetics, both clinically and as applies to food and drink services, using this to underpin and maintain a CPD portfolio.

Service Improvement and Governance

  • To work to decrease food waste.
  • To seek feedback from patient satisfaction/experience surveys and consultation projects to facilitate service improvement.
  • To be involved in the resolution of patient complaints regarding the food and drink service where relevant.
  • To play a major role in the implementation and maintenance of a digital patient meal ordering system in conjunction with the Catering Manager and IT Systems Team, including signing off all relevant nutrition and allergen information to ensure patient safety/menu compliance.
  • To undertake audits of meal services and provide feedback and recommendations to improve the food and drink service.


  1. Organisational values may be included as part of the job description.
  2. There may or may not be supervisory aspects to the role e.g. dietetic student training, managing of junior staff depending on the organisation.
  3. Key working relationships would include at the very least catering, dietetic team, nursing, speech and language, doctors and wards across the trust. However, line of reporting could vary depending on Trust organisational structure.
  4. Food service dietitians should be involved in staff recruitment and selection of roles related to their role. For example, sitting on interview panels and involvement in the development and retention of dietetic staff and diet chefs.