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Dietitians Week: Spotlight on a Dietitian for Children and Young People

06 Jun 24

This week is Dietitians Week, an opportunity to celebrate the impact and value of our dietitians at HPFT. Meet Hayley, one of our Specialist Dietitians for Children and Young People (CYP), who explains more about her role and why she enjoys working at HPFT.

Hayley – Specialist Dietitian for Children and Young People

My name is Hayley and I work as a Specialist Dietitian for CYP in HPFT.  For this year’s Dietitians Week, the British Dietetic Association are celebrating the theme “from the classroom, to clinic and beyond”.

A woman holding a sign that says "I'm celebrating Dietitians Week"

Why did you choose to become a dietitian?

I love helping people, and as a student I also enjoyed Science and Maths and I love food! Therefore, becoming a dietitian seemed perfect for me.

I undertook a three-year degree programme which included 1000 hours of placement in hospital and outpatient departments. I also have a background in working with children and young people and since qualifying, I have specialised in paediatrics, which required additional study.

I became increasingly interested in the mental health aspect of eating disorders which led me here!

What are your roles?

I have a combined role, working with the community CAMHS Eating Disorder team and also in Forest House General Adolescent Unit – I’m always on the move meeting service users, attending ward rounds, and working across teams to provide dietetic support and guidance.

What do your roles entail?

My community role helps young people who need support to regulate their eating. My job can involve providing meal plans, recipes, snack suggestions or oral supplements that can be used to replace refused meals. I also provide psychoeducation to young people and families on the different nutrients needed by the body and how this translates into meals and snacks throughout the day. My sessions are usually interactive and are individualised, so each one will differ depending on the current needs of the young person.

At Forest House, I work with service users who are admitted under our eating disorder pathway, ensuring that there is a clear management plan for their stay. During this time, I undertake various duties such as attending ward rounds and having meetings with professionals. I also implement Care Programme Approaches (CPAs) – this is a method of assessing the health and social care needs of people with mental health problems, and developing with a care plan to ensure that our service users are receiving the full help and support they need. I also help to ensure that our staff feel confident in managing mealtimes on the ward by providing training resources and support.

I love the variety of my job and it is a pleasure to work with young people. 

During Dietitians Week, Hayley is using social media to inform people about what dietitians do and to hopefully inspire others to enter the profession. If you would like to follow along, please visit @HayleyC_RD on Twitter (https://x.com/HayleyC_RD).


If you are interested in working as a dietitian in HPFT, please visit our careers website:

For further information about careers in dietetics: https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/careers/ahp/dietetics/

For current vacancies: https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/careers/vacancies/#!/job_list/s4/Allied_Health_Professions?_ts=1

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