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Nutrition is the healthy food that we need.

Dietetics is the study of the best food for different health conditions.

This page gives information about the help we give around food and diet for patients with different health conditions.

Who we are

Our Nutrition and Dietetics Department works in conjunction with other departments across the hospital to assist in the health and wellbeing of patients with dietary and nutritional needs.

Our services

Some of the areas covered by the department are:

Critical Care

There are two critical care Dietitians who specialise in the nutritional assessment and delivery of nutrition to patients with acute life threatening disorders on designated intensive care and High dependency Units.

The provision of nutritional support is part of routine care in both critical care units. These patients are at very high risk of becoming malnourished due to the stress placed on the body whilst critically ill. The body’s priority is to use body tissue for defence and repair in an attempt to survive. This is associated with muscle loss.

Many patients on critical care units are on a ventilator, a machine to assist with a patients breathing and likely to be sedated . This prevents a patient from eating a normal diet and therefore a temporary artificial route of feeding is required until woken up, weaned off the ventilator and oral diet can be resumed.

Diabetes

Food and lifestyle choices are fundamental to diabetes care. The role of the Dietitian is to educate patients about the dietary aspects of management of diabetes and to help them to apply this to their own dietary habits and lifestyle. This includes assessment of their nutritional status and readiness to change eating behaviour.

In the short term, the diabetes Dietitian helps the patient to regulate food intake in order to optimise blood glucose control. This includes assessment of current treatment for diabetes and matching it up with appropriate meal pattern, as well as management and treatment of hypoglycaemia (low Sugar level) and hyperglycaemia (high sugar level).

In the long term, the Dietitian can assist to make dietary changes in line with the healthy eating diet, which can offer weight management and protection against cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes UK is a charity that supports patients, carers and health professionals. More information can be found by following this link.

Gastroenterology

The Gastroenterology specialist Dietitian covers areas including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) i.e, Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, alcohol liver disease and malignancy of the gastrointestinal tract.

Many patients with these conditions require nutritional support from the Dietitian. This includes the usage of nutritional supplement drinks which provide additional caloires, protein and vitamins and minerals. At times these patients require feeding via a tube or dietary changes to releave symptoms such a low residue (low fibre diet).

There is a weekly gastroenterology clinic seeing patients with IBD and Coeliac Disease. The aim is to see all newly diagnoised patients with Coeliac disease and follow up patients that need further support. Patients with Coeliac Disease are seen annually by the dietitian to ensure the patient is nutritionially stable.

More information can be found about Coeliac Disease on the Coeliac UK website. Crohn's and Colitis UK provide information and support for people affected by inflammatory bowel disease.

Haematology

Nutrition plays an important role in the care of patients with cancer and those who are immunocompromised. It is therefore especially important that these patients have access to specialist dietetic services as they are susceptible to declining nutritional status and infections as a result of disease and treatment intervention.

Maintaining an adequate intake and good level of nourishment is important for each patient both to improve their general health and to maintain their best possible state of health as they progress with their treatments and adapt to lifelong medication.

To achieve this, the dietitian assesses the nutritional status of the patient, gives advice, education and support throughout their period of care.

This education often entails food safety, ensuring optimum nutritional status and due to increasing numbers of malnutrition, some form of nutritional support is required.

Infectious Diseases

The infectious diseases dietitian works with patients on the isolation ward 3x and 3y to reduce the risk of them becoming malnourished. Nutrition is an essential part of treatment for the various illnesses, infections and conditions associated with infectious diseases. A good nutritional status has been shown to improve immune function, reduce muscle wasting, improve mood, and reduce length of stay in hospital.

Movement Disorders

The Dietitians see patients with movement disorders whilst an inpatient and during Consultant led clinics at Broadgreen Hospital. Movement Disorders include conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) and PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) which are progressive neurological conditions. Parkinson's Disease symptoms include tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement.

Weight fluctuation dietary problems and difficulty chewing and swallowing can be common in Parkinson's Disease. People may gain weight due to inactivity and difficulty preparing meals. People may lose weight due to increase energy needs as a result of increased movement with tremors. Problems with constipation are common may and dietary changes with medication may help resolve this.

Patients can discuss dietary problems with their Dietitian. Further information can be found on the Parkinson's UK website which provides advice and support.

Renal (Kidney)

We are a team of six specialist renal dietitians who assess nutritional requirements and food intake of renal (kidney) patients.

Diet is an important part of the management of kidney disease and we support patients with kidney disease pre-dialysis and on dialysis as well as those patients who have received a kidney and/or pancreas transplant.

The kidneys remove waste products from the body in the urine. These waste products can be affected by foods that are eaten.

Patients who have kidney failure may be required to avoid or limit certain foods and drinks. Individually tailored advice is provided based on blood results, nutritional status, medical condition and treatment.

The renal dietitians also support and facilitate education and continuing professional development within the hospital and satelitte units in the surronding areas of Halton, Warrington,Broadgreen and St Helens.

The areas we provide a service to:

  • Nephrology outpatient clinics at Royal Site and Satelitte units
  • Low clearance outpatient clinic
  • Haemodialysis outpatient clinic at Royal Site, satelitte haemodialysis units and home haemodialysis patients
  • Peritoneal dialysis patients
  • Renal inpatients
  • Kidney transplant patients

Stroke

The Stroke Dietetic Team consists of 5 dietitians who provide input to all stroke patients admitted to the trust.

Acute Stroke Unit (ASU) and Stroke Rehabilitation Unit (SRU)

Patients diagnosed with stroke on the ASU and SRU are screened for risk of malnutrition and are provided with dietetic input as required. After a stroke some people have difficulty with eating and drinking and may require to be fed through a tube, the dietetics department are involved in safe initiation of tube feeding and support and advice on the most appropriate route of feeding.

We also provide support to people who are having difficulty eating and drinking, are malnourished or who require advice on the different food textures which may be required to ensure safe swallowing after a stroke. We are also available to provide advice on management of diabetes, diet modifications to promote healthy cholesterol levels and diet and lifestyle advice for the prevention of stroke.

Early Supported Discharge (ESD Team)

The ESD Dietitians provide follow up for patients in their own environment for up to 6 months after they are discharged from hospital. Evidence suggests that providing input and therapy in patients own home can improve their chances of survival and of independent living. The dietitians link in weekly to the multidisciplinary team and provide joint therapy visits when needed to ensure the patient receives the most appropriate and efficient care.

Stroke Review Clinic (SRC)

Dietitians are available in SRC to provide follow up, support and advice to patients on any issues related to their diet or nutrition.

Life After Stroke

Life After Stroke is a 4 week education programme for stroke survivors and their carers that is coordinated by the dietitians. It provides an insight into the causes of stroke, support in managing the symptoms of stroke and providing guidance on how to help reduce the risk of further strokes by managing your medication, diet and lifestyle.

It also provides information for stroke survivors on agencies, charities and support groups that can provide further support to them and their families. The Stroke Association provide advice and support for people recovering from a stroke.

Staying healthy - eating right