Welcome to the web pages of the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at Alder Hey. Throughout these pages you will find information about dietetics, our services within the trust and links to helpful information about nutrition.
What is a dietitian?
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.
Dietitians at Alder Hey
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;
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:
About the department
There are 15 dietitians at Alder Hey, supported by 2 secretaries and the Special Feeds Unit staff.
We work across the following main areas, 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 in patients.
We currently accept referrals for children under the care of an Alder Hey Consultant.
Patients can be referred by letter or Meditech. Referrals must include the following:
We are unable to accept referrals for common childhood nutritional problems as these are more correctly dealt with by the primary care team. These include iron deficiency, obesity and constipation.
We are unable to accept referrals from GPs. GP referrals should be made to the local community paediatric dietitians. Your local PCT should be able to direct you to appropriate services.
Commonly asked questions about dietetics and nutrition
Where can I get clear up to date advice about what my children should eat?
You will find clear advice and ideas about what to give children to eat, at all ages and stages on the Food Standards Agency website www.eatwell.gov.uk
I am confused about what age to start giving my baby solid food.
The current Department of Health advice is to introduce solid food from 6 months. There are lots of sources of help and advice, including your health visitor, local children's centres and online help at www.nhs.uk/start4life
The GP has told me that my child is overweight, can you help?
We are sorry that we are unable to see children who are overweight but there are many people who can help you. Most local areas will be running projects to help children and their families lose wieght. Depending on where you live there are different community based services you can access.
Liverpool you can access help and support from the GOALs programme for more information about the GOALs programme, call 0151 231 4408 or look on the taste for health website www.tasteforhealth.com
Sefton - Active Lifestyles team 0151 934 2352
Knowsley - Family Futures ask your GP for a referral to the programme
How do I become a Dietitian?
There are 2 ways to qualify as a registered dietitian, completion of a relevant degree or completion of a post graduate qualification.
Links for patients
If you have been referred to the dietitian you will receive lots of individual help and information. You can also find support and help on the webistes listed below. These websites will not replace individual advice, if you are unsure about anything you see on a website, always ask your dietitian.
For children with food allergies support and advice can be found from the charity Allergy UK www.allergyuk.org
Coeliac disease - for people on a gluten free diet for Coeliac Disease, Coeliac UK is the charity that provides advice and support - www.coeliac.org.uk
Cystic fibrosis - www.cftrust.org.uk, the CF trust provide support and advice about all aspects of living with Cystic Fibrosis
Diabetes - there are 2 main charities for people with diabetes these are Diabetes UK and the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Both these charities provide help and support to families of children with Diabetes www.diabetes.org.uk and www.jdrf.org.uk
Gastroenterology - the gastroenterology service looks after children with inflammatory bowel diseases, liver disease and a variety of conditions that require artificial nutrition support, the websites listed below may be useful
Liver Disease www.childliverdisease.org
Artificial Nutrition Support www.pinnt.com
PKU (Phenylketonuria) - inofrmation and support in managing PKU can be found at www.nspku.org
Metabolic disease - support and information for families of children with metabolic diseases is available www.climb.org.uk
Ketogenic diets - for help and advice about the ketogenic diet www.matthewsfriends.org
The special feeds unit (SFU) is an integral part of the dietetic department, responsible for the safe preparation of specialised infant formulas and enteral feeds to exacting standards of accuracy, in an environment that is clean and meets the requirments of the food standards act. The SFU should only be used for the preparation of specialised infant formulas and enteral feeds. Where possible sterile ready to feed products will be provided for patient use.
Requests for specialised infant formulas and enteral feeds should be ordered through order entry section of Meditech.
The feeds unit is open 365 days a year.
In the past the trust has always offered parents the choice of infant formula unless there was a clinical reason not to do so. Standard infant milks are available to order ready to feed. These formula should be available for use at ward level. These milks should be offered to all non breast fed babies who do not require a specialised formula.
Cow & Gate 1 order code ABT
Aptamil 1 order code ABT011
SMA 1 order code ABT002