Nutrition and Dietetics Frequently asked questions

Why do I need to see a dietitian?

Your doctor may have asked you to see a dietitian for a number of reasons:

  • You may be underweight or losing weight
  • You may be overweight
  • You may have a health problem that can be improved or controlled by diet
  • You may be able to reduce the risk of ill health in the future by changing what you eat now
  • You may be allergic (or suspect you are allergic) to certain foods

What will happen when I see a dietitian?

It is important for the dietitian to get a full picture of what you eat and drink in order to give the best advice.

It would be very helpful if you could bring a written record of what you eat and drink during the week before your appointment.

The dietitian may ask you questions about:

  • What you eat
  • How much you eat
  • When you have your meals
  • What snack foods you eat
  • How much you drink (including alcohol)
  • What type of food you buy
  • Your lifestyle 

The dietitian will discuss your diet with you before suggesting any changes.

The reasons for suggesting any changes will be explained.

We encourage you to ask questions and make suggestions.

You will usually be weighed and your height and waist circumference may be measured.

Changes in your weight (and height in children) may be used to monitor your progress.

How long will my clinic appointment be and how often will I need to visit?

Please allow 30 minutes for your first visit to the dietitian.

At the end of your appointment, you and the dietitian will decide together whether or not you need to visit again. 

Any follow-up appointment will usually be shorter - about 15 minutes.

If you fail to attend your initial appointment or cancel or change more than two follow-up appointments we will discharge you back to your doctor or consultant.

Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?

Yes.

I am being admitted to hospital but I have special dietary requirements - will I be catered for?

Yes, we cater for a wide range of special diets, including: 

  • Gluten-free
  • Diabetic
  • Soft
  • Puree
  • Halal
  • Allergies
  • Clean
  • Low fat
  • Low salt
  • Low potassium diets 

If you have any concerns while in hospital please speak to a nurse, who can refer you to a dietitian.

I would like to see a dietitian - what should I do?

You can be referred to our service via your doctor or another healthcare professional, such as a speech and language therapist or registered nurse.

Unfortunately we are unable to accept self-referrals.

If you feel that you would benefit from seeing a dietitian please speak to your doctor.

Please speak to your doctor if you feel you need more support and you may be referred to our weight management service.

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