Introducing our new Advanced Practice Specialist Group and Prescribers Specialist Sub-Group

15 Mar 2024

As part of our continued commitment to provide excellent membership value, we are delighted to be launching our new Advanced Practice Specialist Group and Prescribers Specialist Sub-Group.

The Advanced Practice Specialist Group will represent and support dietitians and trainees undertaking advanced practice career pathways. The group will provide a space for peer support and networking as well as developing CPD and education opportunities.

A key workstream for the group will be to develop policies, frameworks and resources for advanced practitioners to support their career progression and training needs. This includes developing training and campaigning for commissioners to invest in advance practice training and dietetic roles.

The group has lots of ambitious plans and will be working to deliver the following for members:

  • Host training, education and networking events for members
  • Develop policies, frameworks, resources, and training opportunities for advanced practice dietitians
  • Support the existing trainees to develop their roles and services
  • Support the BDA to develop advanced practice training, including post-graduate training
  • Collaborate with the relevant specialist groups to provide education across specialisms
  • Work closely with NHS England and other profession bodies to achieve shared goals
  • Create a value proposition for external commissioners /funders so that they invest in advance practice dietetic roles

The specialist group is led by a committee of volunteers, including the Chair of the group Tom Welbank, who said, "This is a hugely exciting, career-defining opportunity to shape the workforce and future roles for dietetics. In ten years, advanced practice roles will be an established part of every dietetic department.

"Join us and engage with the fantastic workforce transformation led by NHS England which supports you, our members, to develop even more effective and efficient roles and services as advanced clinical practitioners. Each and every one of our members brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise to the patients and multidisciplinary teams we support.

"We are delighted to have partnered with the Prescribers Specialist Sub-Group, giving you double the value for your membership. Together we have huge ambitions to change the way we work as a profession."

The Prescribers Specialist Sub-Group will lead the BDA campaign to advance the dietetic profession from supplementary prescribing to independent prescribing rights.

Initially their key activity will be focused on developing guidance and resources to support supplementary prescribers, providing peer support nationally and promoting safety and the dietetic prescribing role. The sub-group will support those undertaking supplementary prescribing education and encourage more dietitians to become prescribers. 

The sub-group will be working to develop the following for members:

  • Organise an annual study day to share good practice and provide education and peer support on non-medical prescribing
  • Provide a space for networking and peer support
  • Collect data to provide evidence of safe and effective prescribing by dietitians
  • Create national guidance on the use of a clinical management plan
  • Create a patient satisfaction questionnaire to assess the impact of supplementary prescribing on patients

Alison Culkin, Chair of the Prescribers Specialist Sub-Group, said: "I am delighted that after many years of hard work, the BDA has created this sub-group. I hope it will bring together dietitians interested in prescribing practice and move the profession forward to independent prescribing. Together we can demonstrate the benefits of prescribing by dietitians using our expert knowledge of diet, nutrition and medications for the benefit of patients, other healthcare professionals, commissioners and the NHS."

Join today

We are now welcoming all members of the BDA to join the Advanced Practice Specialist Group for a limited time introductory offer of £10. 

As a member of the Advanced Practice Specialist Group or the existing First Contact Dietitians Specialist Group, you're eligible to join the new Prescribers Specialist Sub-Group for free.

Join the groups here. You will be able to add the Prescribers Specialist Sub-Group for free after selecting either the Advanced Practice Specialist Group or First Contact Dietitians Specialist Group first.