Skills for Health are looking for feedback on a new draft advanced practice credentials framework for dietitians working in primary care from dietitians with knowledge or experience in advanced practice.

In 2020, Health Education England (HEE) commissioned Skills for Health to lead the development of six advanced practice credentials frameworks in primary care – including one for dietetics. This was to support the development of safe and effective advanced level practitioners in primary care.

This dietetic advanced practice role in primary care is new and is designed to be the next step after the first contact practitioner role (learn more about these roles here). Dietitians in these advanced practice roles will be working at level seven (master’s level) across all four pillars of practice (clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research).

The BDA supported Skills for Health to set up a steering group which included: dietitians (working in a range of clinical specialisms), patient and HEE representatives, representatives from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and a nurse, physiotherapist, consultant gastroenterologist and GP. This group have together developed the draft advanced practice credentials framework for dietitians working in primary care.

This is an extremely exciting opportunity for the dietetic profession as it allows us to extend our role from first contact practitioners to advanced practice in the primary care setting. Where dietitians wanting to progress their career have often had to leave clinical roles and move into management roles, these roles will provide opportunities for dietitians to progress their career within clinical practice.

As you will notice within the framework, dietitians in these roles will be working as generalist diagnostic clinicians – assessing and managing undifferentiated and undiagnosed presentations. Within the framework, the steering group have outlined the generalist areas the dietitian will be expected to have knowledge and skills in (frailty, weight management, functional bowel disorders and type 2 diabetes).

Skills for Health need your feedback by Sunday 21 March 2021 to ensure that they have captured the necessary capabilities dietitians in these roles will require. Please complete the survey to share your feedback with them. 

Did you know?

The BDA have a primary care discussion forum for any members working or considering working in primary care. It’s a platform that members can join and share knowledge and experiences as well as ask others for support with any queries.

Please email us if you’d like to join edpd@bda.uk.com. We are currently developing the draft dietetic roadmap from first contact practitioner to advanced practice in primary care and will share more information on this (including a webinar) with forum members.

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Author

Eleanor Johnstone

Professional Practice Manager , British Dietetic Association