What is a dietitian? 

Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition-related problems. Paediatric dietitians specifically deal with children and their nutritional needs. We translate scientific research on food and disease into practical guidance for children and their families. Our team of paediatric dietitians are also involved in audit and quality improvement in order to improve the service offered to patients, care-givers and other health professionals.

What do we do at Barts Health NHS Trust?

We work across the following hospitals:

  • Mile End Hospital
  • Newham Hospital
  • The Royal London Hospital
  • Whipps Cross Hospital

What do we do?

The team extends across four hospital sites (Royal London Hospital, Whipps Cross Hospital, Newham General Hospital, Mile End Hospital) within Barts Health NHS Trust covering:

Inpatients

We see children from 0 to 18 years of age, and cover all inpatient areas Monday to Friday 9am-5pm:  

  • Royal London: 6C (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit), 6A/B (Day surgery), Seven Paediatric wards (7D, 7E gastro, 7E respiratory, 7F, PASSU), 8D (NICU and SCBU)
  • Whipps Cross: Acorn Ward and SCBU
  • Newham: Rainbow Ward and SCBU

Patients who are admitted to the wards are nutritionally assessed using the STAMP screening tool and referred to the dietitians where required. 

We have a specialist feeds unit at The Royal London Hospital which produce a full range of therapeutic formulas and therapeutic diets as required. To prepare your child for their outpatient appointment they could watch this video created by the Royal London childrens play team 

Outpatients 

Royal London

Specialist clinics in conjunction with consultants are run for Allergy, Morbid obesity, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Gastroenterology.

The Children’s Dietitians run their own clinics and accept referrals for children under 16 years of age living in Tower Hamlets from consultants or GPs.  Assessment, advice and treatment is provided for:

  • Food Allergy  
  • Faltering Growth 
  • Theraputic Diets 

Two highly specialist Dietitians (both with a background in Allergy Research) provide a full time Allergy service. They work as an integral part of the Allergy team alongside the Allergy consultants and Specialist nurses. 

Whipps Cross

The Children’s Dietitians run their own clinics and accept referrals for children under 16 years of age living in Waltham forest and meeting the referral Criteria.  Assessment, advice and treatment is provided for:

  • Food Allergy  
  • Faltering Growth 
  • Theraputic Diets 
  • Home enterally Fed children

Newham General Hospital

The Children’s Dietitians run their own clinics and accept referrals for children under 16 years of age living in Newham.  Assessment, advice and treatment is provided for:

  • Food Allergy  
  • Faltering Growth 
  • Theraputic Diets 
  • Weight management

Mile End Hospital

Community Children’s Dietitians are based at Mile End Hospital. Assessment, advice and treatment is provided for:

  • Theraputic Diets 
  • Home enterally fed patients

Meet our team

Paediatric dietetetic team lead - Sophie Aubrey

Royal London Hospital 

Gastroenterology

  • Minal Patel

  • Shauna Dunne 

Diabetes is based across Royal London, Whipps Cross and Newham University Hospitals

  • Kate Sharples 
  • Waseema Skogan
  • Chelsea Slough
  • Sarah O’ Toole

Allergy

  • Bunmi Raji
  • Rosalynd Gourgey

Cystic Fibrosis/ respiratory/ critical care

  • Gurpreet Virdee
  • Charlotte Walker
  • Angela Hall

General dietetians

  • Juliana Bettencourt
  • Sarah O’ Toole
  • Clarice Greenhalgh

Whipps Cross University Hospital 

  • Jo Berry (HEFT) 
  • Clarice Greenhalgh (General Paediatrics) 

Newham General Hospital 

  • Jamie Leung (Neonatal / general paediatrics) 
  •  Emma Lynch ( General Paediatrics / Eating Disorders) 

Mile End Hospital 

The community home enteral feeding service is based at Mile End Hospital. 

Tel: 0208 121 4420 / 4421 

  • Anna Nolan 
  • Kayee Chan
  • Karen Blake
  • Juliana Bettencourt

Eating disorders service ( ELFT / CAMHS)

Tel: 0207 426 2556

  • Michelle Gibson 

Refer to our services

Newham Hospital

Please complete the referral form 116KB and send it by email.

Visit us: Nutrition and dietetics, Newham University Hospital, West Wing, Glen Road, E13 8SL

Phone us: 020 7363 8200

The Royal London Hospital

Please complete the referral form [doc] 121KB and send it by email.

Whipps Cross Hospital

Please complete the referral form [doc] 46KB and send it by email.

Visit us: Paediatric dietitians, nutrition and dietetics, Junction 8, 2nd Floor, Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, E11 1NR

Phone us: 020 8535 0050 (ext 6621).

Eating whilst in hospital

We have a children’s menu to provide a balanced diet whilst children are in hospital. You /your child can also access special diets as required and the World menus (Halal, Kosher etc.)  

It is very common for children and young people to lose their appetite whilst in hospital.  This may be due to feeling unwell or anxious as a result of being in an unfamiliar environment. Most children’s appetite improves once they are discharged home.

However, eating well in hospital is important and will help to:

  • recover from illness
  • fight infections
  • maintain a healthy weight

Children who have had a poor appetite for a longer period of time, or have not gained weight, may benefit from eating little and often and making some changes to their food choices.

 How nurses help

  • Nurses observe patients eating and drinking and provide assistance if required. Children will be encouraged to sit in the ward dining room, if they are able to do so, as this helps to improve appetite. 
  • Nurses refer patients with a high STAMP score or children who require further advice to a Dietitian for specialist advice. They will conduct regular nutritional assessments such as measuring weight and recording dietary intake. The medical team may also refer patients to a Dietitian.  Patients who have any difficulty with swallowing will be referred to a speech and language therapist for further assessment.

How dietitians help

  • Dietitians will see patients referred by nurses and doctors. They provide advice to help the patient meet their nutritional needs tailored to their specific illness or medical condition.
  • Dietitians will advise on best choices from the hospital menu, or arrange for additional snacks or nutritional supplement drinks if these are needed.  They may also advise relatives and carers on the most appropriate types of foods to bring in from home.

If nutritional advice is needed once the patient has been discharged from hospital the Dietitian will refer patients to a local out-patient clinic, or a community Dietitian.

How parents, relatives and carers can help

  • Help the child to choose favourite and nourishing foods from the menu
  • Encourage and assist children who may need help with eating
  • Encourage children to have snacks between their meals. Snacks which can be kept by the bedside include fruit, biscuits, cakes, nuts, sweets, crisps or long-life desserts such as custard or rice pudding which do not need refrigeration.   These may not be suitable for everyone so check with the nursing staff if the patient has any specific dietary requirements.
  • Children well enough may be taken to the hospital restaurant or a local café.

Are there extra snacks available?

  • Patients are offered biscuits and drinks during the day, Wards usually also stock bread and butter/margarine, fruit, breakfast cereal and milk which may be given at any time.
  • A selection of high energy snacks, such as cakes, cheese and crackers, desserts and crisps may be ordered by the Dietitian if warranted

Protected mealtimes

  • All wards have protected mealtimes which allow patients to eat their meal in a relaxed environment without any non-urgent clinical work taking place
  • During this time nursing staff will serve and assist patients with their meals
  • Visitors are not usually permitted to visit at this time.  However, relatives or friends assisting patients with eating will be welcome but do check with the ward manager first

Best choices from the hospital menu

  • Foods which are higher in energy (calories.)   Examples of these are pasta bake, pizza, burger, lasagne and chips.
  •  High energy desserts such as sponge pudding, apple crumble or rice pudding. 
  • Avoidlow-caloriee foods which may be filling but not provide much energy.  These are foods like salad and fruit, cottage cheese, salad sandwiches and jellies.  They do not need to be avoided altogether but should be chosen less often than high energy foods.
  • Some drinks are not very nourishing, but filling like fizzy drinks so try to choose nourishing drinks.  These include milk and milkshakes, hot chocolate, malted drinks, yoghurt drinks, fruit smoothies, and nutritional supplements (as advised by the Dietitian). Have drinks after or between meals to avoid reducing appetite at mealtimes.
  • Patients with a poor appetite are advised to eat little and often, with snacks and nourishing drinks between meals.

Contact us

Kevin Gee (patient care co-ordinator)

Tel: 020 3594 1541

Email Kevin