This job has expired

Specialist Neurosurgery Dietitian

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 £35,392 - £42,618 Per Annum Pro Rata
Closing date
23 Nov 2023

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Band 6
Part Time
A 12 month vacancy has arisen for a neurosurgery and major trauma dietitian. We are looking for an experienced and proactive dietitian to manage nutritional care in this specialised area.

The post holder will have responsibility for all non critical neurosurgery patients, have strong clinical reasoning skills and be focused on optimising patient outcomes. The role will require regular evaluation of the dietetic service within neurosurgery, ensuring nutrition is fully embedded into all aspects of patients' care. The Neurosurgery Dietitian will be a core member of the MDT, providing a source of expertise to patients, carers and staff.

The South West Neurosurgery Centre is based at Derriford Hospital. The Unit provides a comprehensive Neurosurgical Service to adult patients with brain and spinal injuries across Devon, Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, and part of Somerset. The rapid transfer of patients between outlying hospitals and Plymouth is facilitated by two helicopter air ambulances.

***Preference will be given to internal Trust staff, as well as 'Priority' and 'At Risk' status including NHS At Risk staff throughout Devon who are able to display recent relevant experience as dictated by the Person Specification.***

Main duties of the job

To work as a member of the specialist neurosurgery multidisciplinary team based at Derriford Hospital. To be responsible for providing a specialist dietetic service following evidence-based practice, being an active MDT member, provide education, acts as a source of knowledge and expertise, develop ward based nutritional procedures and plans, participate in audit and research related to neuroscience in order to improve clinical outcomes and develop the role and service.

The postholder will work calmly in a busy environment, make sound clinical decisions and be committed to service development.

This role requires strong nutrition support skills, especially enteral feeding, and extensive acute in-patient experience.

In addition to the clinical workload the post holder will be a valued member of the dietetic team encouraged to undertake audit and will be responsible for clinical development and supervision of junior staff and student dietitians as well as acting as a professional resource for other dietitians.

About us

We are a people business - where every member of staff matters and can make a difference. Patients are at the heart of everything we do. Joining University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust means becoming part of a team of dedicated staff, who are committed to leading the way through innovation, clinical excellence and great customer care. The Trust has great opportunities for career development in a highly progressive working environment. We offer all of this in a vibrant, modern city with a historic reputation for adventure.PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL COMMUNICATION WILL BE ELECTRONIC, PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNT REGULARLY.If you have any issues with applying online and need additional support including reasonable adjustments with the application process please contact the recruitment team on 01752 432100.We recognise that work life balance is important for our colleagues and so we invite requests from applicants around less than full time/flexible working for our advertised roles. Please contact the recruiting manager to discuss this prior to your application submission. We commit to giving this full consideration in each case. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds to apply for our roles, as diversity strengthens our teams.It is sometimes necessary to close vacancies before the closing date. If you have not heard from us within 4 weeks of the closing date, please assume that you have not been shortlisted.

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • Practice autonomously, providing high quality clinical practice in the specialist area.
  • Be proactive and collaborative in clinical decision making underpinned by an enhanced level of theoretical and practical knowledge.
  • Use enhanced clinical skills in assessment, diagnosis, treatment and discharge of service users in specialist area.
  • Undertake specialist holistic nutritional assessments including the calculation of nutritional requirements, interpretation of biochemistry, anthropometry, clinical history and other physical parameters in those with complex needs.
  • To be experienced in the use of anthropometric equipment for assessment of nutritional status, such as weighing equipment, hand grip dynamometer, callipers and interpretation of results.
  • To develop a suitable dietetic treatment plan based on evidence based practice and provide advanced nutritional advice to service users, in collaboration with their carers, where needs are complex. This involves the interpretation and communication of complex and sensitive information in an understandable form.
  • To develop and implement ward based nutritional protocols and procedures including nutritional screening, initiation of out of hours enteral feeding, monitoring food and fluid intake and managing dietary requirements.
  • Where appropriate, to advise and liaise with the catering staff concerning the dietary needs for service users. To monitor the ward based catering service and act accordingly
  • Demonstrate a level of knowledge in relation to pattern of disease or disorder, marker of condition progression and range of treatment available at each stage of disorder or condition.
  • To provide expert dietetic advice to the multidisciplinary team, through attendance and participation in multidisciplinary team meetings, ward rounds and patient meetings.
  • To be responsible for ensuring written and electronic patient records are completed for all patient contacts including statistical activity data records in accordance with professional, departmental and trust standards.
  • To monitor and review the outcomes of nutritional care plans and adjusts to facilitate achievement of the desired goals in the light of changing medical treatment and personal circumstances.
  • To provide clinical support and cover for other staff as requested by the Nutrition and Dietetic Service Manager
  • To supervise and co-ordinate the safe and timely discharge of patients on artificial nutritional support, liaising with hospital and community services.
  • To advise on appropriate use of prescribable nutritional products within the neurology service and to general practitioners.
  • To train, supervise and appraise Band 5 dietitians and dietetic assistants within the team.
  • To develop and evaluate multi-professional teaching sessions. To develop educational resources such as teaching packs, case studies and guidelines.
  • To provide training on neuroscience nutrition to staff groups, including nurses, doctors and non-specialist dietitians as required
  • To plan student training programmes for their neurology weeks, including tutorials and peer assisted learning sessions. To take the lead in student supervision and assessment. To act as key-worker for student dietitians throughout their placements as required
  • To manage and prioritise own workload and assist junior staff to do so.
  • To maintain accurate and timely dietetic patient records (paper and electronic) in line with national and local record keeping standards.
  • To develop resources for patients and staff, ensuring that they are evidence based, up-to-date and in line with Trust policies on document control, and meet the needs of patients with a wide range of cultural and educational needs.
  • To actively undertake audit and evaluation of outcomes and effectiveness in neurosurgery dietetic practice and disseminate findings locally and where appropriate at regional or national meetings and conferences.
  • To participate in and contribute to the Nutrition and Dietetics Department Professional Development Programme.
  • To promote the role of the neurosurgery dietitian and the work of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics to the other disciplines and client groups.
  • To take part in departmental clinical governance activities.
  • To keep caseload/activity statistics as required by the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • To use outcome measures specific to the work area, to evidence dietetic interventions
  • The post holder works flexibly to cover 7 day working as required.

Person Specification



  • oBSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics or equivalent.
  • oHCPC Professional Registration


  • oCompletion of BDA PENG course

Knowledge and Experience


  • oDemonstrable post-registration dietetic experience in a wide range of clinical areas, including neuroscience or major trauma
  • oExtensive demonstrable experience in enteral feeding and enteral feeding tubes


  • oDemonstrable surgical dietetic experience

Aptitude & Abilities


  • oEffective communication skills with an ability to communicate with patients, carers and all levels of healthcare staff
  • oGood clinical reasoning skills


  • oAbility to work effectively and calmly within a busy environment.

Employer details

Employer name

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust


Derriford Hospital

Derriford Road



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