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Senior Oncology Dietitian

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust
£33,706 to £40,588 a year Pro rota
Closing date
1 Jun 2023

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Dietitian, Other allied health
Band 6
Contract Type
Part Time
Job summary

Are you looking for a new challenge or career step? An exciting opportunity has arisen for Band 6 Dietitians to work within the Dietetic Macmillan and Community Team at Portsmouth Hospital University Trust. Due to reconfigeration we are able to offer posts working at Queen Alexandra Hospital and our community site joining up the care pathway for patients undergoing treatment for H&N cancer and nutrition support. We are able to offer upto full-time hours but welcome applications for those looking for part-time work.

Portsmouth dietitians have teams based across acute, community, renal, paediatric and diabetes specialisms. We offer a friendly supportive environment in which to develop the skills that will be beneficial to many different dietetic career options. We encourage our staff to embrace the opportunities on offer including learning, research, audit and quality improvement projects. There are teaching opportunities and engagement with staff and the wider public.

The department places a strong emphasis on clinical and peer support and supervision, and has a well established programme facilitating the training of dietetic students. We are also involved in delivering a variety of rolling training programmes for other healthcare professionals across the Trust, relating to nutritional care.

Main duties of the job

You will work as a macmillan dietitian with the H&N lead Macmillian dietitian to provide an autonomous service to patients undergoing radiotherapy. You will cover both in and outpatients with a large caseload of head and neck patients working closely with Oncologists and Clinical Nurse Specialists within consultant-led, CNS-dietetic joint clinics, and dietetic telephone clinics. You will be supported by training and education as part of the Macmillan package.

Within the community team you will work across a variety of areas including home enteral feeding, home visits, community hospital inpatient wards and outpatient clinics. We also regularly train health professionals and care staff, including a diet chef one-day course for care home caterers which includes practical sessions on food fortification and making homemade high protein milk shakes. We also lecture Surrey University dietetic students on a range of subjects. You will be required to work flexibily and travel around the local area as required.

We have an established programme of audit and clinical governance and you will play an active part in the development of the role to improve outcomes for patients.

Within the acute team there is opportunity for supervision and line management of junior staff.

About us

The Trust is committed to driving excellence in care for our patients and communities and was rated good by the Care Quality Commission report published 2020 and became a University Hospital. We are ranked as the third in the country for research; embedding education and training across the organisation and we continuously strive to achieve our core values which are at the heart of everything we do. The Trusts main hub is the Queen Alexandra Hospital, starting life as a military hospital over a century ago and now one of the largest hospitals on the south coast and you may have seen us on the TV series Nurses on the Ward. The Trust provides comprehensive secondary care and specialist services to a local population of 675,000 people across South East Hampshire. The Trust employs over 8,000 staff and are #ProudtobePHU; our patients come from all walks of life and so do we. We hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds, not just because its the right thing to do, but because it makes our hospital stronger. If you share our values and our enthusiasm for providing outstanding care and support for patients, colleagues and our community you will find a home at PHU. In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique contributions that you can bring in terms of your education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veterans status, colour, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Key Responsibilities:

  • To deliver Specialist Dietetic intervention to medical Oncology within Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, making sound professional judgments regarding nutrition and hydration, frequently requiring intervention by the Oncology and Nutrition Support MDTs.
  • To work with the Team Leads in developing the dietetic service for adults with cancer developing knowledge and skills and acting as a resource for the dietetic department - dividing time between clinical input and service development activities.
  • Working autonomously, and in liaison with Head & Neck Specialist Dietitian, in managing a caseload of patients demanding specialised Dietetic assessment and intervention using specialist knowledge and skills in the out-patient setting including clinics and telephone contact.
  • As a resource to Cancer MDTs leading dietetic care by signposting patients down appropriate dietetic care pathways, working closely with regional specialist colleagues and liaising with other members of the dietetic, and nutrition nurse teams in hospital, in the community and across the region to ensure continuity of care.
  • To work with the Community Team Lead in developing the community dietetic service. To deliver community dietetic intervention in outpatient clinics (face to face and telephone), patient education groups (face to face and virtual), community hospitals and other NHS premises, to patients referred by GPs, consultants, and other health care professionals.
  • To deliver dietetic intervention within domiciliary visits where necessary to patients referred by GPs, consultants and other health care professionals. This includes patients on home enteral feeding and with various complex conditions (including oncology and neurological conditions).
  • To act as an advocate for patients, carers and relatives to ensure dietary intake and nutritional status are considered as part of medical and surgical treatment pathways liaising with key members of both the local MDT, and other regional services where required, to achieve this.
  • Play a lead role in proactively recommending artificial nutrition support in a timely way to prevent unnecessary/prolonged admissions and to improve patient clinical outcomes.
  • Challenge and discuss with other expert professionals nutritional issues that may affect decisions about patient care or service delivery.
  • Demonstrate regular personal development activities. To keep up to date on professional matters actively pursuing training for self-development relevant to the role through an individual training plan.
  • Implement evidence-based practice, initiate, manage, and evaluate changes that lead to improved and high standards of care and in particular any service changes following feedback from patients.
  • Communicating, influencing, and working with the multidisciplinary team in different ways to improve quality of care, and informed clinical decisions. Promote innovation and participate in benchmarking and quality audits to measure effectiveness of current practices.
  • Create a culture for learning and development that will sustain person-centred safe and effective care.
  • Support junior colleagues in the provision of direct care; facilitate learning in and from practice at the same time as working alongside; or undertaking a care plan review if an when a serious incident or complaint has occurred.
  • Ensure concerns raised by patients and their families are dealt with in an open, honest and transparent way, quickly and effectively, in line with trust policies, procedures and Duty of Candour legislation.
  • Ensuring that accurate and timely dietetic records are maintained, monitoring standards and taking corrective action as required.
  • To undertake relevant personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job, ensure safe practice and maintain and continuously improve specialist knowledge and skill level.
  • To undertake relief, specific and other duties as relevant to the post as directed by the Lead Dietitians.

  • Accountable for the direct delivery of the Dietetic service within the specialised clinical areas within Oncology and community, including referral guidelines and protocols/pathways for specific patient groups.
  • Undertake other tasks or accept additional responsibilities (e.g. Student training liaison, health & safety liaison, social media lead, delegated by the Team Lead or Service Manager that contribute to the effective provision of the Dietetic Service. To undertake such other tasks and occasional relief duties as may be required from time to time by the Nutrition and Dietetic Services Manager
  • Contribute to the department pay and non-pay budgets by ensuring good housekeeping, economic and sustainable use of resources.
  • Work closely with Trust partners i.e. Engie, resolving any issues regarding provision of food and maintenance of the environment efficiently, and ensure staff are aware how to escalate when issues cannot be resolved.
  • Research
  • Contribute to a research culture within the dietetic team to identify current knowledge and deliver evidence-based care. Seek out ways to evaluate service provision to cancer patients within the Queen Alexandra catchment area disseminating locally (and nationally when opportunity presents).
  • Actively contribute to local department multidisciplinary audits, represent the clinical area at governance meetings and highlight areas for change. Collect & collate service evaluation data to inform Macmillan annual report, and service development opportunities.
  • To undertake the above, when necessary, as part of the neighbouring NHS Trusts.

  • Ensure staff, under the post-holders leadership, have an annual personal development review and set achievable objectives in line with Trust appraisal process, feeding agreed development opportunities into the department training plan.
  • Create an environment that is conducive to learning and encourage team open-ness so that an evidence-based approach is utilised and applied to dietetics.
  • Act as a mentor and coach for dietitians, support staff and junior team members.
  • Contribute to the direct supervision of dietetic students; commit to and encourage a culture where student dietitians receive quality placements supported by coaching-style of supervision, including mentorship and teaching from the multi-professional team as appropriate. Deliver dietetic lectures to Surrey University dietetic students.
  • Responsible for ensuring that Trust requirement for mandatory/essential training is completed.
  • To act as an expert resource for the dietetic team, providing training and development, as well as
  • representing the service at multidisciplinary meetings and cancer network meetings as required.
  • To provide training and education to facilitate other professionals to take action in providing appropriate nutritional advice to patients.
  • To work with the multidisciplinary team to develop and select materials e.g. diet sheets, advice sheets to ensure appropriate literature, resources for patients are available.
  • Representing the service at multidisciplinary meetings such as the MND MDT, as required.

Communication and Working Relations
  • Provide and receive complex, sensitive or contentious clinical and personal data/information, treating this in line with trust information governance policy.
  • Use highly developed interpersonal verbal and non-verbal counselling skills to overcome significant barriers to nutritional care and in dealing with distressing diagnoses and symptoms.
  • Communicate sensitively, compassionately and effectively with patients, carers, relatives and other professionals in situations that may be highly emotive; dealing with frequent exposure to distressing and emotional circumstances.
  • Establish robust communication channels with other professionals to facilitate effective dietetic intervention and continuity of care, for example for enteral tube feeding, including regional working, and liaising with OG Specialist Dietitian and Community Dietetics service.
  • Responsible for recording personally generated information regarding patients e.g. written and electronic records, reports and activity data in accordance with professional and local standards. To keep patient records and record information on case notes/care plans as per Department/Trust procedures.
  • Concentrate while undertaking work that is not always predictable. With competing demands for attention, prioritise workload and manage interruptions relating to patient care.

Working Conditions and Effort
  • May be frequently exposed to distressing circumstances (e.g. working with patients who are given distressing diagnoses, those terminally ill and their families) and/or exposed to other conditions.
  • Frequent exposure to unpleasant or highly unpleasant working conditions e.g. noise levels, bodily fluids, smell.

Person Specification


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