BDA Guidance on raising concerns about dietetic care
As the professional body for dietitians we strive to support our members in the delivery of the highest standards of care, and as such we take all concerns raised very seriously.
We do from time to time receive correspondence from members of the public, students or other healthcare professionals who have not had a positive experience, or have concerns about a dietitian or dietetic service. Fortunately, these are rare; but that said, we do not take any complaint raised lightly. Although we cannot get involved with individual cases, we would always try to provide options for taking the issues raised forward through the appropriate channels.
Concerns about dietetic care
If the dietitian works within the NHS you should in the first instance contact the Dietetic Service Manager in the hospital which employs the dietitian and provided your dietetic care. The manager has a duty to investigate your concerns and respond to you directly with the outcome.
Alternatively the Hospital Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) will be able to guide you through the steps to addressing your concerns informally and then more formally should that be necessary.
If your Dietitian works within a GP practice you should contact the practice manager with your concerns.
If you do not get a satisfactory resolution to your concerns locally or if the dietitian works in a freelance (private) capacity you should contact the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC is the regulator with which all dietitians must be registered to be able to practice in the UK. They have the legal right to investigate and take action if they feel practice has fallen short of expected standards.
If you have access to the web then see left for the link to further information on how to raise a concern with the HCPC. The HCPC fitness to practice team can be contacted on:
Telephone: 0300 500 6184
Finally, the BDA has a process for handling concerns through the Investigatory Committee, for matters which are either not appropriate for the HCPC, have not been resolved locally, or bring the profession into disrepute.
Concerns about BDA members including SENr registrants
All BDA members must abide by the BDA’s Code of Professional Conduct and any other relevant practice guidelines.
The BDA has two sets of procedures to handle concerns about members: one set relating to members on the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register and one relating to all other members (Full, Associate, affiliate, student, International, Alliance, Non practicing member, Retired).
If you have any concerns about a member of the BDA, or someone on the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register, then the link to the BDA complaints procedure can be found under 'useful links' left.
The Honorary Secretary acts on behalf of Council to investigate complaints against members.
To submit a complaint or to express concern please email the Honorary Secretary with the details.
BDA Honorary Secretary Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bylaws for the Investigation of Complaints about Members of the BDA
If you are a dietitian and have received a referral about your practice from the HCPC, please contact the BDA Education and Professional Development Team as soon as possible. A member of the team will put you in touch with the relevant Officer.
For the majority of concerns that might come up during your dietetic training, education and placements, the primary route for addressing them will be through your HEI. They have a duty to provide strong governance and student support through the Universities internal process.
If you are a dietitian that has concerns about a dietetic student then the route is still the same and advice should be sought through the university.