Nutrition and dietetic service

  • The nutrition and dietetic service comprises of a team of healthcare professionals including dietitians, dietetic practice assistants and administrative staff.

    Our registered dietitians are qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level.

    Our dietitians use the most up-to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, and translate this into practical guidance to enable people across Hertfordshire to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices. We provide advice and support for both adult and paediatric patients requiring oral nutrition support, parenteral and enteral nutrition as well as those requiring home enteral feeding. Training to staff within Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust is offered in conjunction with our advice and guidance service which is run by a qualified dietitian each day for any patient or staff queries.

    We advise and support patients in clinics, virtual clinics on the telephone and for housebound patients we offer domiciliary visits including care homes. We provide a service to the inpatients at the community bed bases and mental health units across Hertfordshire and the Lister Hospital in Stevenage. We run patient group education sessions on a variety of subjects relating to diet and nutrition, including IBS, FODMAP, coeliac disease and cow's milk protein allergy. These are all delivered remotely via video call.

    As a service we work closely with several partners to provide a comprehensive nutrition and dietetic service. In the commissioned integrated service in West Hertfordshire, our partnership with Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides West Hertfordshire with access to a Tier 3 obesity service and we are working with West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust to deliver specialist multidisciplinary team outpatient services. We have teamed with Age UK (Hertfordshire) and are working closely to identify and provide support for social malnutrition and Hertfordshire Independent Living Service as part of the enhanced nutrition project to deliver training to staff in care homes.

    COVID-19 nutrition information for care homes

    Your residents may be experiencing symptoms of weight loss, breathlessness or taste changes that is impacting the quantity of food they can eat. Here are some handy hints to aim to help with this:

    Is your resident experiencing loss of taste or taste changes?

    Is your resident feeling breathless?

    Is your resident losing weight?

    Information to help if COVID-19 has affected your diet

    Here is some useful information that may help in dealing with your symptoms affecting your diet if you are experiencing COVID-19.

How the service is provided

  • Group education sessions are via video
  • Outpatient telephone consultations are via video. There is the option for a telephone consultation if this would be the patient’s preference. For certain patients, an appointment will be arranged face to face in an HCT clinic venue.
  • Joint outpatient consultations with other health care professionals
  • Inpatient settings
  • For patients who are housebound and there is a clinical need, there is a limited service for home visits.

Who is eligible for the service

Adults and children referred by a doctor, nurse, health care professionals or school nurses.

Referrals for tier 2 obesity should continue to be sent to the Herts County Council commissioned service who are commissioned for this pathway.

What will happen at your appointment

On receiving a referral asking the service to see you, we will send you a letter asking you to contact the nutrition and dietetic service administrators to arrange an appointment.

As part of the information sent to confirm the appointment, you may be asked to complete a food diary and other questions that will help with the assessment process. A text message can be sent to your mobile phone before the appointment, as a reminder of the date and time.

Prior to your appointment you may like to look at the British Dietetic Association (BDA) Food Fact sheets appropriate to your concern - these can be found by clicking this link.

At the appointment there will be a discussion as to the reason for the referral. We may need to collect further  information about you and your food intake. This is to help the dietitian guide you on any changes to your food intake, taking account of your personal circumstances.

The dietitian will explain the relationship between food and your diagnosis. You will be encouraged to agree goals with the dietitian. Then to  help remind you of the information discussed in the appointment, we will provide you with written information to support the conversation you had with the dietitian.

Useful information

Useful resources

Milk free dietary advice for breastfeeding


Allergy UK
National charity supporting allergy sufferers

British Dietetic Association
Information on food and nutrition, diet and medical conditions, and reliable facts on the latest food and health issues.  

British Nutrition Foundation
Provides healthy eating information, resources for schools, news items, recipes and details of work undertaken around the UK.

Public health programme run by the Department of Health aiming to help improve your diet and lifestyle.

Department of Health and Social Care
Public health updates from the government.  

Diabetes UK
Charity supporting people with, and at risk, of diabetes.  

Food Standards Agency
UK government body showing current research in food safety, nutrition and food-related disease.  

Health and Care Professions Council
Regulatory body for health and social care professionals.  

Infant and Toddler Forum
Practical advice for healthy eating habits for pregnancy to preschool.

Macmillan Cancer Support
Charity providing specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer.  

National Health Service
Information on conditions, treatments, local services and healthy living.  

National Obesity Forum
Forum for tackling diabetes, heart disease and weight related illness.  

Patients on intravenous and naso-gastric nutrition treatment (PINNT)
Support group for people receiving artificial nutrition.

Making a referral

A written referral should be sent to the single points of contact.

For patients whose GP is in East and North Hertfordshire please send the referral to GPs can refer using the form on ARDENS.

For patients whose GP is in Herts Valleys please send the referral to GPs can refer using the form on DXS.

The referral should include details of the patient's:

  • past medical history
  • recent diagnosis
  • reason for referral
  • drug therapy
  • relevant blood results
  • any social information that would have implications on the treatment plan

Adults referral form (East and North)

Adults referral form (West Herts)
Children's referral form

Care home referral form (West Herts)
Care home referral form (East and North Herts)

Referrals for tier 2 obesity should continue to be sent to the Herts County Council commissioned service unless there are comorbidities that mean this service is not appropriate e.g. patients with learning disabilities.

Patient experience

If you would like to share your story, please contact the Patient Experience team on 01707 388036 or email

The nutrition and dietetic service value your opinion and would welcome anonymous feedback via a short survey. Your feedback helps us to improve our service.

You can access the survey for East and North Hertfordshire patients here, and South and West Hertfordshire patients here. If you would prefer to access the survey in paper format, please contact the department and we will post a copy to you with a postage-paid envelope for you to return it to us.