03 Jun 2019

Caroline Bovey BEM is chair of the BDA

I’m delighted to welcome you to my second Dietitians Week as Chair. This year we have focused more than ever on engaging with the public, showing them the full breadth and depth of “What Dietitians Do” and encouraging more people to ask for access to a dietitian.

This may seem like a very   broad theme but we have chosen this as a result of your feedback from previous years.  Your feedback called for a theme that all members can take part in and that has a clear public facing focus. After the success of the grassroots #WhatDietitiansDo social media campaign we wanted to build on that. We want to give all of our members a chance to talk about their area of expertise, and to highlight those areas which that the wider public may not be aware of.

Of course, this is not just a chance to talk about all the amazing and varied things we do, but also to highlight how much more we could do. The polling we undertook leading up to this week showed nearly 40% of the public would like to access a dietitian for support, but we know this isn’t possible at the moment – the numbers simply don’t add up. However, the more patients and members of the public that are asking for access to a dietitian, the more likely services and commissioners are to provide those services, which is why growing our profile and explaining what we can offer is so important.

Diet is now the biggest single modifiable risk factor for health and every government recognises the need to increase the role of prevention. It seems obvious, therefore, to invest heavily in dietetic services. We will keep making that case, and this week is another opportunity for us to do so collectively.

We’ve got lots planned on each day this week, some of which I’ve detailed below. Of course, the week is really made by you and your activities, photos and posts.

  • Today we’re kicking off the conversation about #WhatDietitiansDo and we want you to share (and continue to share all week) your personal experiences as a dietitian, especially those elements that the public may not realise. We also have an #RDUK Twitter chat to look forward to this evening at 8pm.
  • On Tuesday we’re going to be highlighting dietitians love of food by sharing some of our favourite Lets Get Cooking recipes and launching a new charity cookbook from some of our freelance members. We want you to share your favourites as well!
  • Wednesday we will see the launch of a new animation specially commissioned for the week to show just how much dietitians do. Watch this space!
  • On Thursday we’re asking you to “tag a champion” – highlighting those patients, colleagues and fellow healthcare professionals that are real champions for the profession.
  • On Friday we find out the winners of our amazing picture competition. I was so impressed to hear about all the entries (over 150) and look forward to seeing the shortlisted images voted on during the week. We will also be giving a sneak peak into our plans for our next big campaign week – Malnutrition Awareness Week – alongside partners from BAPEN and the Malnutrition Task Force.

I look forward to seeing all your amazing contributions on social media over the next five days. Let’s show #WhatDietitiansDo!

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