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Specialist Dietitian Nutrition Support and Surgical Gastroenterology

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Depending on experience Dependant on experience
Closing date
19 Jun 2024

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Band 6
Contract Type
Full Time
We have an exciting opportunity to offer a permanent band 6 position in the Acute Dietetic Team for an experienced dietitian to support the provision of nutrition support. This post will be working within a well- established multi-disciplinary Nutrition Support Team and alongside the surgical MDTs (mainly colorectal and upper GI) at Torbay hospital.

We can offer opportunities for quality improvement programmes within the trust. We also are enthusiastic about delivery of nutritional training to other health care professionals, both formally and informally and this will make up part of your role.

You will be joining a friendly team of 40 dietitians, dietetic support workers and admin staff based across our Integrated Care Organisation. We fully encourage and support CPD and offer internal opportunities regularly including department education sessions and journal club.

We train student Dietitians on A, B and C placement from the University of Plymouth.

Torbay has excellent rail and road links to the rest of the South West: Exeter, Plymouth, North Devon, Bristol, Somerset and Cornwall. We are just two miles from the sea front in Torquay where there are active sea swimming groups, and beautiful countryside including Dartmoor to explore.

For further information or to arrange an informal visit please contact:

Deborah Howland

Specialist Dietitian and Acute Team Lead

01803 654382

Main duties of the job

To work as an autonomous dietetic practitioner with responsibility for a caseload of complex patients both inpatients and outpatients:

To provide a patient centred out-patient service to all Nutrition Support Team and surgical MDT patients referred via various routes (consultants, GPs, specialist nurses).

To work closely with the medical gastroenterology dietitian to provide a complete dietetic service for surgical and gastroenterology patients, including during periods of leave

To be the source of nutritional expertise and education in surgical MDTs to support patients, carer givers, and health care professionals.

To contribute towards development, implementation, evaluation, and update of evidence-based Trust Wide guidelines, policies and protocols for dietetics, the Nutrition Support team and surgical MDTs.

To take the lead within the Acute Team for liaising with catering and the Nutrition Council, regularly attending relevant meetings and feeding back to the Acute Team and the Nutrition and Hydration Steering Committee.

About us

Why Work With Us

About your new team and department

This post is based at Torbay Hospital with the Acute team dietitians. The acute dietitians cover speciality areas of nutrition team, medical and surgical gastro, ICU, head & neck cancer, nutrition support across 12 wards at Torbay Hospital and outpatient clinics for these specialites. The Acute team is part of the wider dietetic team including Community, Diabetes, Paediatrics, Weight Management, and Cancer Servcies. The team has over 40 staff members - dietitians, dietetic support workers and admin support. The team is actively involved with training of student dietitians from Plymouth University.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Communication and working relationships

To work as an integral member of the surgical MDTs including, but not exclusively the Colorectal Team, Upper GI team, stoma team

To communicate and establish working relationships with:

Nutrition Support Team and Nutrition Nurse Specialists

Surgical MDTs, rehabilitation teams, and nursing teams

Allied health professionals

Home Enteral Feeding (HEF) dietitians and HEF Team

Catering department

Other dietitians, locally and regionally to share best practice

Students dietetic and other professions

Other health and social care professionals

Planning and organisation

To manage own time and clinical caseload as an autonomous practitioner within the surgical gastroenterology service

To plan, organise and develop the dietetic service in surgical gastroenterology, with support from the dietetic team leads, head of service and gastroenterology teams

Actively evaluate the dietetic service provided, for example, identifying the strengths of service provision, patient activity statistics, health outcomes and patient satisfaction (e.g. Friend and Family Tests) and any areas for development.

To plan, organise, deliver, and evaluate training sessions to a variety of groups including health and social care professionals and patients. Training may be face to face or virtual platforms.

Responsibility and accountability

To be the nutritional lead in the surgical gastroenterology team to ensure patients have high quality nutritional care

To deliver Dietetic care to a caseload of complex adult patients in collaboration with the gastroenterology MDT and other MDTs as required

To provide a source of expert knowledge and advice on nutrition to the service

To be a lead liaison between the acute team and the catering team, partaking in monthly meetings and advising on menu content and special diets for patients

Responsibility for patients and client care

To provide referred inpatients and outpatients with evidence-based, individualised, disease specific nutritional care plans as part of the NST and surgical MDTs. Main responsibilities are:

To advise on commencing and continuation of parenteral or enteral nutrition, often transitioning between routes dependent on clinical situation, gut anatomy and function.

To be a key member of the Nutrition Support Team and surgical MDTs managing a caseload of both inpatients and outpatients receiving parenteral and/or other routes of nutrition support.

Regular review of this caseload, undertaking nutritional assessments to ensure efficacy of nutrition support, (this will include interpretation of nutritional status with comphreshensive nutritional assessment, calculatation of disease specific nutritional requirements using knowledge and evidence-based practice, requesting and interpreting biochemistry, measuring anthropometry, consideration of clinical situation, communicating with both local and national intestinal failure units details of care which may be shared. Discuss, agree and make clinical changes where necessary.

To use behaviour change and advanced communication techniques to support and aid compliance with recommended dietary/nutritional treatment plans

To explain treatment plans (verbal and or written) in an easily understandable way to patients, carers and relatives and other relevant individuals, to enable patients to make informed choices about their own health

To provide resources such as patient information leaflets, recipes and menu plans and to signpost them to other resources where appropriate (e.g. NHS patient webinars, relevant charities and support groups).

To provide dietetic care with empathy for people requiring long-term nutritional interventions (including those who may be in the end stages of their life) considering emotional, ethical and social developments in addition to clinical situation

To be pro-active in initiating appropriate dietetic treatment and/or referral, and to signpost to other appropriate services

To understand and be fully aware of the range of oral nutrition support products, enteral tube feeds, parenteral nutrition bags and associated equipment

To be a key member of relevant MDTs providing a source of expert knowledge and advice on nutrition, being actively involved in MDT discussions (inpatient and outpatient settings) and decisions around nutritional care and feeding for patients, including medically, socially and ethically challenging situations (e.g. decision making around feeding routes, patients lacking mental capacity or being treated under the Mental Health Act, end of life care, best interest meetings and safeguarding).

To liaise closely with ward teams and catering staff to support the provision of appropriate diets

To ensure safe and timely discharge and ongoing care of patients from hospital to home receiving parenteral and/or enteral nutrition support, with the support of the NST, ward staff and home enteral feeding team/home parenteral nursing teams

To advise parenteral nutrition and off script enteral tube feeds for home use

To provide support where quality or safeguarding issues have been identified

Policy and service responsibility

To contribute to the writing of policies, protocols, resources and guidelines relevant to this role, with the support from MDTs and dietetic teams

To provide resources such as patient information leaflets, recipes and menu plans

To contribute to the wider service development of the dietetic service

To attend other relevant team meetings which may include related surgical MDT management meetings, dietetic meetings, local and national service provision meetings (virtually where possible)

To lead on advising developments and changes for hospital menus in line with national guidance eg BDA Digest and report into Nutrition & Hydration Steering Group

Responsibility for finance, equipment and other resources

The post carries no budgetary responsibility

To take anthropometric measurements to assess nutritional status, including the use of weighing scales, callipers, grip strength during patient assessments

To promote the clinical and cost-effective use of nutrition support products for example, when inpatients are discharged from hospital into the community

Responsibility for supervision, leadership and management

To provide nutrition expertise to relevant teams and across the trust

To provide clinical support and supervision to dietetic support workers and Band 5 dietitians, which may include monthly 121s and annual achievement reviews, supported by the Team Lead and with appropriate training

To delegate and supervise tasks to dietetic support worker and other members of the support team

To support and supervise other members of the acute dietetic team, providing cross cover as required

To participate in the training of student dietitians and students of other professions

To provide cover for specialist dietitians (with appropriate training) during periods of leave

To actively support own wellbeing, as well as to support the wellbeing of the other members of the team

Information technology and administrative duties

To use Attend Anywhere or equivalent for patient assessments, when clinically appropriate

To prepare own presentations, reports, and documents

Maintain clinical records including dietetic records and GP letters and in line with professional and departmental standards. Use electronic patient records where available

To work within the requirements of Data Protection legislation and access to health records

To communicate via email, social media and other internal IT systems

To use Microsoft Teams to attend meetings and deliver training and education virtually, and virtual patient education groups

Use IT to project manage and collect data for service evaluation

Responsibility for research and development

To be responsible for own continued professional development and be proactive within annual Achievement Reviews and monthly 121s with Team Lead

To liaise with other specialist dietitians

To work within the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics and the BDA (British Dietetic Association) Code of Professional Conduct

To proactively identify and undertake project work to develop the service to provide high quality nutritional care to patients

Produce reports/summaries to monitor, evaluate and provide feedback about the service

To identify and participate in relevant audit and research projects to evaluate nutritional care with the support of team lead, NST and surgical MDTs.

Person Specification



  • Degree or equivalent qualification in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Evidence of post-graduate training in nutrition support


  • Clinical Supervisory skills course for student training
  • Experience of student training

Knowledge and Experience


  • Evidence of post qualification experience in a nutrition support role
  • Ability to interpret data and make appropriate clinical decisions
  • Experience of teaching/education provision and evaluation


  • Experience of commencing, continuation and discontinuation of parenteral and/or enteral nutrition support
  • Experience of being a member of a Nutrition Support Team or other MDT and managing a caseload of both inpatients and outpatients receiving nutrition support.

Specific skills


  • Excellent communication, team working and organisational skills.
  • To have good time management skills with ability to prioritise based on clinical need, including responding rapidly to urgent situations


  • Experience of developing, implementing, evaluating and updating dietetic services
  • Experience of managing a complex nutrition support caseload, for both inpatients and outpatients

Employer details

Employer name

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust


Torbay Hospital

Lowes Bridge



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