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Nutrition & Dietetics

Nutrition is essential for the maintenance of good health and vital in the treatment of many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, coeliac disease, renal disease and inflammatory bowel disease. It can also play a vital role in the clinical outcome of your hospital treatment.

Our nutrition and dietetics team deliver flexible, evidence-based nutritional care to patients on an individual basis. We provide support to the general medical and surgical, gynaecology, orthopaedic and elderly wards. We operate a number of outpatient clinics every week, an out of working hours weight management group once every fortnight, and are regularly involved in the training of ward staff about the importance of nutrition and how we can work together to improve the nutritional status of our patients. We also deliver group education sessions to cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation and diabetes patients. 

Acute stroke unit

Stroke specialist dietitians work on the aucte stroke unit and rehabilitation unit and play a key role in ensuring adequate nutrition for patients, as swallowing difficulties can develop following a stroke.  Nutrition support will be provided to those who may be unable to take food or drink orally for a period of time and extra snacks or nutritional supplements maybe prescribed to help meet their nutritional needs.  We aim to optimise nutritional intake, which in turn will help the patients recovery.  Education is also an important part of our role.  We provide information to patients and their families with regards to enhancing nutritional intake at home, healthy eating, lowering cholesterol, weight reduciton and diabetes advice.

Diabetes

Our diabetes specialist dietitians hold dietitian-led diabetes clinics on a weekly basis, and dietitian-led group carbohydrate counting and insulin adjustment sessions throughout the year. A dietitian is also present at the weekly gestational diabetes clinic and consultant led multi-disciplinary diabetes clinic. Our diabetes specialist dietitians work closely with the diabetes specialist nurses and the diabetes team.

Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE)

This is a structured education programme for patients with type 1 diabetes. Patients are taught how to match their insulin dose to their chosen food intake on a meal by meal basis.

Nephrology (renal medicine)

Our renal specialist dietitian works closely with a team of nephrologists, pharmacists, nurses and renographers. Patients with kidney disease can be provided with advice on the wards, in the renal unit and in consultant-led clinics.

Nutrition support team

Our nutrition supports team consists of a nutrition support specialist dietitian, a nutrition nurse and a pharmacist and receives medical support from gastroenterologists. The nutrition support specialist dietitian assesses and reviews patients in critical care on a daily basis. Patients receiving parenteral nutrition (whether in critical care or on any other ward) are reviewed daily by the nutrition support team.

Oncology (cancer services)

Our oncology team comprises of two specialist dietitian and a dietetic assistant.  They apply a knowledge of biochemisty, a knowledge of the side effects of drugs and other treatments for cancer, and of the symptoms of cancer itself to achieve the optimal nutrition status for each patient.  The treatment and nutritional advice given is holistic and may include dietary change, the prescription of nutrition supplements and/or gastrostomy feeding or recommendations for the prescription of medicines to alleviate symptoms.  As part of the oncology service, counselling may be provided for you, your family or carer if required.

 Paediatrics

Our two paediatric specialist dietitians provide cover to Neptune ward, the neonatal unit and a variety of consultant-led clinics which include diabetes, cystic fibrosis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and gastroenterology. Referrals for children are only accepted from consultants at the hospital and their teams.

Children may also be seen in the paediatric specialist dietitian-led outpatient clinics. Children seen in these clinics may be referred for treatment of conditions such as multiple food allergies, fussy eating, gastroenterology and failure to thrive.

A telephone review service is provided for support of all paediatric patients and treatment is individually tailored.

Contact us

Nutrition & dietetics team:                01702 385331

Email:  nutrition.dietetics@southend.nhs.uk