Nutrition and dietetics

Our services

The philosophy of the department of nutrition and dietetics is to establish and encourage good nutritional practice and standards as an integral part of the health care provided to the population served by Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Attend Anywhere video consultation

Did you know your outpatient appointment for this service may now be done by video consultation using Attend Anywhere. This enables you to be able to attend your appointment from home, saving you time and money.

Find out more about outpatient video appointments


Dietitians are qualified to translate the science of nutrition in health and disease into practical information about food.

We work as members of a multidisciplinary team to look after patients who are under the care of a consultant. We visit patients receiving hospital care (or their carers) to check on their health and ensure their diet meets their requirements. We can also be involved in treating disease by diet, for example people who have diabetes or coeliac disease.

We work to promote good health by teaching the public and other health professionals about diet and nutrition and act as advisors to the Trust on the nutritional standards and specifications for the patient food service to ensure that the needs of all patients can be met.

Our work includes

Providing nutritional support

This means feeding patients who are unable to feed themselves or have increased nutritional requirements. Examples of this type of patient include patients who have had a stroke, or a patient who is very weak following an operation at the hospital. If we ensure a patient is fed properly, it can improve recovery rates, reduce the chance of further difficulties and reduce the time the patient needs to stay in hospital.

Providing therapeutic diets

Patients receive medical or surgical help with their conditions, but some have conditions that can also benefit from special diets. Eating more of certain foods, and/or avoiding certain things can help to control a patient’s symptoms. In some cases, by carefully monitoring what a sick patient eats and drinks, the dietitian can reduce the chance that patient will have problems in the long-term, and can establish and/or help maintain the patient’s quality of life.

Providing advice to the Trust on nutritional issues:

Members of the department work with Trust staff on the following groups and committees: nutrition steering committee and corporate nutrition standards. We work very closely with estates and facilities on the development and improvements to patient catering. We are involved in the contracts for patient food services and are members of the contract review group. Our department writes the nutritional specifications for patient food and artificial feeds and supplements that are used in the hospital.

Providing education

The department has a substantial commitment to educating other health professionals through English National Board (ENB) courses and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ). The Dietitians’ Board of the Health Professions Council (HPC) has approved the department as a base trainer for student dietitians.

Information for inpatients

The dietetic team provide a service to all adult and paediatric inpatient wards within Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie Hospital..

All patients admitted to Addenbrooke’s should be ‘nutritionally screened’ within 48hrs of admission and the results of this screening acted upon. Screening involves a nurse answering a few questions about whether you have lost weight recently and how you are eating. If the results show you are at risk of malnutrition they will refer you to a dietitian for support.

If you are an inpatient at Addenbrooke’s or a relative of yours is and you feel they need to see a dietitian please mention this to a member of the team who are looking after them and they will be able to make the referral if deemed appropriate.

If you need a special diet please make the nursing staff aware so that this can be arranged.

Information for out patients

We run a variety of booked outpatient clinics for adults and children, which at the moment are mainly delivered remotely via video conference or as telephone consultations. In addition we run a telephone triage clinic for people referred for the dietary treatment of some gastroenterology conditions to ensure that you are seen in the most appropriate clinic. The department keeps some appointment slots free for emergencies. However, patients can be given these emergency appointments only if the department has received a request for an emergency referral from their hospital consultant,

At your first appointment, your dietitian will assess you carefully which is why this visit will take longer. The requirement for follow-up appointments will be discussed and agreed between you and your dietitian .

Following an assessment, you might be instructed to keep a regular account of your dietary intake and this information will be invaluable to the dietitian in managing your care. If you are coming in for a return outpatient appointment, you might be asked to bring your food diary with you. Children are routinely sent a food diary with their appointment (new and follow up). Please complete this and bring it along to each appointment. It is often useful if you can bring the dietitian a list of any medications you are taking.


Any healthcare professional working at Addenbrooke’s can refer a patient to the dietitian if they feel this is appropriate

Patient support links