Nutrition and Dietetics
Dietitian’s are trained to interpret the science of nutrition into practical food related advice in the management of a wide variety of diseases. They also have the knowledge and skills to assess and manage nutrition support.
Dietitians are involved in supporting children with a wide variety of childhood conditions helping them acheive their potential for growth and development through nutrition support and dietary change. All dietitians must be registered with the Health Professions Council.
We provide a comprehensive service to patients requiring dietary advice or nutrition support. When a child or young person is referred to us we will:
- Assess the need for dietary management
- Check height, weight and other measures of growth and nutritional status
- Plan the correct feed or diet based on our assessment
- Explain the dietary treatment in a way that is understandable and manageable
- Monitor the child’s progress and advise on changes when needed
- Keep all the healthcare professionals involved up to date about dietary changes
- When should a child or young person be referred to a dietitian
There are a wide variety of diseases and conditions that may require referral to a dietitian. In general this is because they result one or a combination of the following:
- Poor weight gain and growth
- Higher than normal requirement for food and nutrition
- Conditions which cause poor digestion of food
- Conditions requiring changes to food intake, for example diabetes, food allergies, coeliac disease and inherited metabolic diseases
- Children who have difficulties eating and drinking food and will require tube feeding
- Children who need intravenous feeding
About the department
There are 15 dietitians at Alder Hey, supported by two secretaries and the Special Feeds Unit staff.
We work across Cardiology, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Food Allergy, Gastroenterology, Inherited Metabolic Disease, Nutrition Support, Neurology, Oncology and Renal Disease. Many inpatients require specialised infant formula and tube feeds. These need to be prepared accurately and in the clean environment of the Special Feeds Unit.
We work closely with catering and the diet cooks to provide special diets for inpatients.