Workplace health and Dietitians

The BDA is leading the way to offer dietitians accreditation, new resources and a support network to work in the field of workplace wellbeing.

The issue

The health of the workforce is at the heart of a raft of government policies and guidelines including the Five Year Forward view and public health guidance from NICE. The need for a cohesive approach to wellness initiatives is supported by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD, the professional body for human resource professionals).

Up to 25% of the UK’s working age population suffer from a long-term condition which can be weight related1 and employers are looking to support the productivity of their workforce through improved resilience and mental wellbeing. Employers who are seeking providers for nutrition services have limited choice and may not be able to identify a quality partner who will measure and report change effectively.

What the BDA is doing

In October 2015, the BDA published a timely review of the evidence on wellness initiatives in a workplace setting which encourage better nutritional practices2. The document is available to order at www.bdaworkready.co.uk. This was launched at the TUC Congress that Autumn.

The BDA secured a delivery and funding partner, belVita, who are contributing their consumer insights and expertise to the programme for its first two years. We have also engaged with the Association of Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners (AOHNP) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to understand how best to develop this initiative.

The BDA Work Ready steering group is upskilling dietitians in the delivery of corporate wellbeing services via new training programme and has developed a suite of materials to support to the delivery of a programme tailored to the work setting.

We are seeking to influence policies by making responses to consultations by NICE, the Department of Health and the Department for Work & Pensions.

We believe that our paper2 makes the business case for including nutrition interventions in a wellness programme. We are committed to developing the BDA Work Ready programme into a sustainable model to ensure that we maximise the potential to build capacity for dietitians in this important field.

What we need members to do to help

We want members with the appropriate skills to consider becoming accredited BDA Work Ready dietitians through the training course. We have trained dietitians working independently as freelancers, those delivering NHS initiatives and those working in food service.

There is now a national network of dietitians licensed to deliver the programme so if you want to recommend us to a local organisation please signpost them to the BDA Work Ready website or send them one of the industry-specific leaflets available to download in the ‘Employers section of the site.

We have mapped the programme to the awards for workplaces in all four home countries including Investors in People, Workplace Wellbeing Charter, Healthy Working Lives Award, Corporate Health Standard, Making Life Better. If you are working on a nutrition intervention which supports one of these, get in touch for a copy of our document to find out more.

If you are part of a group working on some of the defined CQUINs then please read our Dietetics Today article and share your experiences.

Further information

References

  1. Long Term Conditions Compendium of Information: Third Edition, Department of Health 2012
  2. BDA White Paper ‘Supporting healthier working lives through dietitian-led wellness initiatives, October 2015

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