Diet and nutrition

Collage of images showing a family out for a bike ride, a plate of salad and two students eating fruit

Acute Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics

The Acute Dietetic Team ensures that a seamless service is delivered to our patients - providing both inpatient and outpatient services. We assess patients whilst they are in hospital, hold specialist outpatients clinics - and ongoing support is provided by our colleagues in the community.

The team is committed to evidenced based advice and information on the management of good nutrition in the treatment of diseases. The Acute Dietetic team provides dietetic care in a wide range of specialities which include:


Following a stroke, patients may need dietetic intervention to help with eating and drinking difficulties. This may include modified texture diets or alternative feeding methods if they do not have a functional swallow as well as oral nutritional support to maintain adequate nutrition. 

Patients may also be referred to the service for dietary advice to complement secondary prevention strategies.


The Team includes 4 dietitians who provide specialised dietetic care to oncology out-patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  These patients will often need dietetic intervention to help with either eating and drinking difficulties that have arisen as a consequence of the cancer itself or the treatment undertaken. Many of these patients require alternative feeding methods which are managed at home rather than as an in-patient.

What do Dietitians do?

Our dietitians help educate and provide individual dietary advice to patients staying in hospital that need our help, and/or their carers. 

This is useful for medical conditions wholly or partly treated by diet e.g. crohns disease. They also support patients with poor appetites and for those unable to eat and drink sufficiently. 

They give advice on what to eat and drink to aid recovery and also see patients who need to be feed via tubes.

As well as providing individualised dietary advice to oncology patients, the oncology dietitians attend weekly multidisciplinary meetings and clinics. They also provide talks and general advice to patient support groups and participate in Kent-wide study days for other health professionals working in oncology.

Children’s Services

The Team includes 2 paediatric dietitians who provide specialised dietetic care to children both as inpatients and outpatients. They work closely with Paediatricians, children’s nurses, and other therapists in a variety of settings.

Children with a wide range of medical and dietary problems are seen. This can include food allergy, reduced food intake, obesity, children with limited diets, chronic medical conditions requiring long-term nutritional support and children who require tube feeding whilst in hospital.


Dietitians see a wide range of patients e.g. Crohns Diseas, Ulcerative Colitis, Diverticular Disease.  They work with the patient to ensure that patients are managing to eat the most appropriate diet. They will work with patients to help alleviate symptoms.

Nutrition support /Critical Care

Dietitians are key members of the multidisciplinary teams on the critical care units at the 3 acute hospitals sites. Patients are assessed and nutritional support is provided via a route most suitable for the patient (oral, enteral or parenteral). The patients are monitored and reviewed on regular basis, and the dietetic intervention is altered depending upon their clinical conditions.