Better Care


1.       I would like to be a dietitian; can I come and volunteer with you to find out what's involved? 
a.       Yes we welcome people who are applying to become a dietitian to come and spend a day with us, although as Community Dietetics is quite different to the acute environment we suggest that you also spend some time at your local hospital. Please email all correspondence directly to: stating where you are applying to and when you would like to come.

2.       How do I become a dietitian?

a.       There are two ways to qualify as a Registered dietitian either completion of a relevant Degree or completion of a Post-Graduate Qualification. All courses include periods of practical training in hospital and community settings, approved by the Health Professions Council. If you require further information please go to the BDA website:

3.       Where can I get information about dietetic degrees?    
 a.       The BDA website gives information on undergraduate training. Locally, Coventry University provides the 4 year course, other courses in England run at Nottingham, Leeds, Chester, Kings College London, London Metropolitan University, University of Surrey, Plymouth University and University of Hertfordshire. There is also post graduate training at Birmingham City University. However, they all have different admission criteria.

4.       How do I get to see a dietitian?

a.        As long as you meet our referral criteria, you could ask your healthcare professional to refer you (this will usually be your nurse or doctor) or if you are having trouble with this please contact us. We will then contact you about arranging your appointment.

5.       How do you refer to bariatric / weight loss surgery?

a.      Weight loss surgery covers a few different types of surgery that can support patients in losing a significant amount of weight. If this is something that you are interested in then you need to speak to your GP or practice nurse. They will then be able to refer you on if appropriate, and you meet the criteria, to the Specialist Weight Management service that Birmingham Community Nutrition provide. Please see our page for more information. 

Specialist weight management service 

If you would like further information please speak to your GP or nurse who can discuss the various weight management options that are available to you, or please see the resource page.

6. How do I find out more about Home Enteral Feeding (tube feeding) ?

a. Home Enteral Feeding refers to the delivery of a nutritionally complete feed directly into the gut via a feeding tube. It is used to feed patients who are unable to attain an adequate oral intake from food and/or nutritional supplements, or who are unable to eat and drink safely. In order to give enteral feeds the gut must be accessible and functioning in order to absorb the feed. Enteral Feeding is not exclusive and can be used in combination with oral diet.

All patients who are discharged on Home Enteral Feeding will be allocated a dietitian in the community; however some patients who are still receiving active treatment will remain under the care of the hospital dietitians. All patients will also be allocated to our Nutrition nurse service who deal with feeding tube training support. If your enquiry is patient specific please contact the Community Dietitians or Nutrition Nurses (Nutrition Support Team) on 0121 683 2300 or the Nutrition and Dietetic Department of the discharging hospitals if more appropriate. 

Other sources of information about Home Enteral Feeding can be found from:

1. NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) in their guideline NICE 32 2006 ‘Nutrition Support in Adults’

2. BAPEN (British Artificial Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition) website 
For further information contact us on 0121 683 2300