Nutrition and Dietetics

Our Nutrition and Dietetics Service is based at Harrogate District Hospital and provides inpatient services as well as outpatient clinics and group sessions across Harrogate, Ripon and the rural district area. We work in areas where nutrition and diet plays a role in the treatment of a condition and advise the Trust on the nutritional standards and specifications for the patient food service.

Dietitians use their knowledge of nutritional science, medicine, and social science to provide practical information about food choices for our patients.  We use a patient-centred approach to empower individuals to make positive changes in their food choices. We provide evidence-based advice and nutritional care that is flexible to patients’ individual needs. Dietitians work within multi-disciplinary teams and are also involved in the training and support of other healthcare professionals.

We provide a wide range of dietary treatments in many specialist areas. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Liver disease
  • Coeliac disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Tube Feeding
  • Undernutrition in the community
  • Neurological conditions
  • Inpatient services

We provide services for children, including:

  • Food allergy
  • Diabetes
  • Faltering growth
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Work in schools

Our dietitians also run group sessions for cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, heart failure, and diabetes.

Nutrition and dietetics services

Cancer service

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We work closely with the staff in the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre (SROMC) and clinical nurse specialists to identify people with a cancer diagnosis who are having problems with their diet. We provide dietary advice to both patients and carers. Any patient attending the SROMC can request a referral to the dietitian if they feel this would be beneficial.

Coeliac disease

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Coeliac disease is treated by a lifelong adherence to a gluten free diet, (avoidance of wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats).

Following a strict gluten-free diet can be difficult and your hospital specialist should refer you to us after you’ve been diagnosed. We will provide advice on changing to a gluten-free diet whilst ensuring that your diet is balanced and healthy. We will offer you an initial one-to-one outpatient appointment, and provide follow-up appointments as required.

People with coeliac disease receive long-term care in our specialist coeliac clinics where you will be reviewed by a consultant gastroenterologist and the specialist dietitian.

If you are admitted to one of the wards, a menu free of gluten containing ingredients is available from our Catering Department.

Community services

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We provide a service to support individuals with a poor nutritional intake in care homes and in their own home.  Education and training is provided for staff in the community. 

Diet and diabetes

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Making changes to your diet and lifestyle is an integral part of treatment of all types of diabetes.  Diabetes dietitians offer personalised advice which will help you manage your own diabetes. We offer a variety of one-on-one and group sessions:

  • Harrogate initiative for people with type 2 diabetes (Harriet course): three sessions of two and a half hours are held at a number of local venues;
  • Dose adjustment for normalised eating (DAFNE) group sessions for type 1 diabetes (with or without insulin pumps): this five day course is spread over one week or five weeks;
  • Carbohydrate/insulin adjustment group sessions for type 1 diabetes: these two sessions are for those unable to commit to DAFNE.

For more information on the above courses please contact your practice nurse, GP, dietitian or the diabetes resource centre. For information on DAFNE click here.

If you are under the age of 16 and have type 1 diabetes, you will be admitted to Woodlands Ward at Harrogate District Hospital. You will be seen on the Ward by the Specialist Paediatric Diabetes Team. Our dietitians work within this Team and will offer dietary advice to help you manage your diabetes.

Heart disease and stroke

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We work closely with the multi-disciplinary teams on the Stroke Unit to provide nutritional advice and support for patients who have experienced a stroke and their carers.

Dietitians deliver a session on eating for a healthy heart as part of a ten week cardiac rehabilitation programme.

Inpatient adult services

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All patients admitted to Harrogate District Hospital or Ripon Community Hospital are assessed by nursing staff, who use a nutrition screening tool. This helps identify people who may be nutritionally ‘at risk’, either due to a poor appetite, weight loss or the need for assistance with eating.

The nursing staff will refer these patients to dietitians while they are on the ward. In addition, any patient who has specific nutritional needs due to their medical condition will be referred to the dietitian for individual dietary advice.

We work closely with the Trust’s catering service to ensure that the menu offered to inpatients is nutritionally balanced and that meals meet the needs of our patients. There is a range of menus to meet specific requirements, including altered consistency meals. For more information, please click here.

Nutrition and children

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We have a team of paediatric dietitians who see all children under the age of 18 who require our services. We will assess the child’s intake to ensure they are getting all the nutrients that their body needs to grow.

We work closely with other members of the children’s teams including paediatric consultants, speech therapists, the children’s community nursing team and health visitors.

Tube feeding

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We also have expert knowledge of alternative feeding methods, such as tube feeding, which can be used when patients are unable to take food by mouth. If you need tube feeding, this is usually started in hospital. Ongoing monitoring of your tolerance and progress on the feed will continue once you are discharged.

Work in schools

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Dietitians are ideally placed to translate the School Food Plan (Dimbleby & Vincent 2013), into practical steps for schools. The plan has a clear message; that eating school dinners is better for children, their health and academic achievement, and better for the school finances. It aims to transform what children eat in school and how they learn about food.

Our Dietitians currently work with St Aidan’s C of E High School in Harrogate. We work with the catering team to ensure food and drinks served in school provide students with a nutritious balanced diet that meets the Government School Food Standards. We also provide allergen information for the menus and work with individual students with special dietary requirements to ensure they can eat safely within the school environment. Our Dietitians are also involved with providing advice within the curriculum and in organising health promotion events for students.

We would be interested in discussing similar opportunities with other schools. Please do get in touch if you would like further information.

Location

The Nutrition and Dietetic Department is located in Therapy Services, which is on the ground floor of Harrogate District Hospital. Please report to reception on arrival.

Opening hours

We are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 4.30pm.

Referrals

You will need to be referred by your GP, consultant, or another appropriate health professional. Once the referral is received, we will be able to arrange an appointment at a time and location most convenient for you.

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