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A first contact dietitian is a specialized dietitian who provides primary care for nutrition-related concerns. They work within primary care, offering direct access for patients to seek assessment, diagnosis, and management of nutrition-related issues.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

Full details available in the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service Contract specification.

In summary:

  • Provide specialist nutrition and diet advice to patients,
  • Educate patients with diet-related disorders on how they can improve their health and prevent disease by adopting healthier eating and drinking habits;
  • Provide dietary support to patients of all ages in a variety of settings
  • Work as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Develop, implement and evaluate a seamless nutrition support service across the PCN, working with community and secondary care where appropriate, and aimed at continuously improving standards of patient care and wider multi-disciplinary team working;
  • Work with clinicians, multi-disciplinary team colleagues and external agencies to ensure the smooth transition of patients discharged from hospital back into primary care, so that they can continue their diet plan;
  • Make recommendations to PCN staff regarding changes to medications for the nutritional management of patients, based on interpretation of biochemical, physiological, and dietary requirements; and
  • Implement all aspects of effective clinical governance for own practice, including undertaking regular audit and evaluation, supervision and training.

Education and Training Requirements

  • Has a BSc or pre-reg MSc in Dietetics under a training programme approved by the British Dietetic Association (BDA);
  • Is a registered member of the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC);
  • Is able to operate at an advanced level of practice;
  • Has access to appropriate clinical supervision and an appropriate named individual in the PCN to provide general advice and support on a day to day basis, in order to deliver the key responsibilities
  • Dieticians working as a FCP are required to completed the FCP Roadmap to Practice for Dietitians