Influencing in action: Latest activity and case studies
This page aims to highlight examples of some of the influencing work being undertaken by the BDA and its members and hopefully inspire you to have a go yourself!
This is by no means a comprehensive list, and you can find more examples on the individual themes pages.
Collaborating and Campaigning
The BDA frequently takes public stands on important issues, either alone or alongside partners.
- Working with colleagues in the AHPF, we have responded to the Treasury Committee inquiry into the student loan system.
- In 2017 and 2018, we will be working with the MHRA on their Fake Meds campaign, aiming to discourage people from purchasing diet pills online.
- In Winter 2017 the BDA worked with Beat Flu from Public Health Wales to encourage people with severe obesity to get their flu jab
- The BDA Trade Union has been part of the TUC Fair Pay campaign, including participating in their Rally for Fair Pay in October 2017. Our Chair Elect, Caroline Bovey BEM, addressed the rally.
- Through our Public Health Champions work we are helping dietitians to help the NHS achieve its commitment to a "radical upgrade in prevention".
- In November 2017, we joined with the Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) and our allies the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) and others to oppose restrictions on surgery for overweight people.
- Joint letter with the Obesity Health Alliance regarding Cadbury's sponsorship of the Premier League.
- When the government released their Childhood Obesity Plan for Action, the BDA was part of a chorus of voices criticising the plan, but welcoming the sugar levy.
You can see more of our day-to-day media engagement in issues of Dietetics Today.
Engaging with politicians at Westminster, the devolved governments or at a local level:
- We have contacted a number of MPs and Peers to raise the issue of folic acid fortification, leading to questions being rasied in the Commons and Lords.
- Dietitians including Heather Norris, who are part of our breastfeeding working group, have been writing to their MPs in support of UNICEF's call to support breastfeeding. Read Heather's letter here (member only).
- Childhood Obesity lead Louise Tse spoke at the Food Matters Live conference on the topic of the government's Childhood Obesity plan of action, alongside Jon Ashworth MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Professor Gina Radford, Deputy Chief Medical Officer.
- In October 2017 Oncology specialist dietitain Lucy Elridge presented to the Food and Health Forum meeting on the issue of Nutrition and Cancer.
- Dietitian Jen Low presented on the topic of fad diets to the All Party Food and Health Forum at the Houses of Parliament.
- Alison Smith, chair of the BDA's Older People Specialist Group appeared before an All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry into Malnutrition in End of Life Care.
- When Birmingham City Council announced cuts to weight management services, the BDA worked with local dietitians to raise concerns with local MPs and the Council. Gisela Stuart MP raised this issue on our behalf with the council.
The BDA is a member of the All Party Food and Health Forum and tries to attend every meeting and speak at as many as possible. If you are interested in attending one of these meetings on behalf of teh BDA, get in touch!
If you think there's an All Party or Cross Party Group that the BDA should be involved in, let us know. There are dozens of these groups and many will have relevance to diet and nutrition.
You can see where we've been and who we have been influencing at events via our events pages. This includes feedback from our members who were in attendance.
National and Local Case studies
Dietitians at national and local level are able to drive real change on behalf of their services and patients. Doing so can involve a fair bit of hard work but lead to really positive outcomes.
- Nicol Clayton RD, specialist paediatric dietitian at Bristol Children's Hospital, reports on her participation on a one day NICE summit on the implementation of new eating disorder guidelines.
- Louise Nash RD, Frail Elderly Pathway Dietitian at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, explains how she used conversations, contacts and persistence to introduce a 10 point action plan to help reduce falls admissions and put nutrition and hydration on everyone’s agenda at her hospital.
- The BDA participates in projects and consultations run by the Professional Records Standards Body to influence the standards that are being developed for integrated health and social care record systems in the UK.
Contribute your own case study
If you've got a good case study of how you have influenced decision-making at a local level or advocated for the dietetic profession, let us know and we'll be happy to include it here!