Nutrition and Dietetics

The Trust’s nutrition and dietetics service offers effective dietetic treatments for people with nutrition related diseases. The service aims to provide high-quality dietetic services to the residents of Sunderland and the surrounding area, using evidence based practice to ensure effective therapies and treatments while working to the highest professional standards.

Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals who are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and are governed by an ethical code to ensure they always work to the highest standard.

Registered dietitians are the only qualified health professionals who assess, diagnose and treat diet related problems at both an individual and wider public health level.

Dietitians use the most up to date scientific and medical research which they translate into practical guidance to help people to make the best dietary and food choices.

Nutrition and dietetics 0191 569 9013

The department is open from 08:30 – 16:30 Monday to Friday

The Nutrition and Dietetics Department is located at Sunderland Royal Hospital, B level. It is easily accessed by Entrance 11 (Therapy) or by the hospital Main Entrance.

Divisional General Manager Jackie Butterworth

Directorate Manager Mandy Bates

Clinical Director Mary Spearman

Head of Nutrition and Dietetics Scott Covington

We welcome any feedback you have on the nutrition and dietetics service. Please contact Scott Covington (Acting Head of Nutrition & Dietetics) on 0191 5699013 or by

Our services

Acute (hospital) dieticians

The Dietitians in the hospital provide support and advice for medical and surgical specialities and all age groups. There are specialist dietitians working within bariatric surgery, gastroenterology, head and neck, critical care, paediatrics, renal Medicine, stroke services, and tissue viability.

The main areas of dietetic intervention include the provision of:

  • Nutrition support to those who are unable to meet their nutritional requirements
  • Therapeutic diets to those who have conditions that benefit from special diets. Eating more of certain foods or avoiding others may help to control symptoms

The Dietitians work closely with the Catering team to ensure that appropriate food is provided to all patients requiring dietetic input.

Childhood weight management service

This service caters for children and young people aged between 0 and 17 years and their families where the child/young person has been identified as having an unhealthy weight. Children and young people accessing the service live in Sunderland and are registered with a Sunderland GP.

Working in conjunction with the LAF Programme, the Dietetic Service provides tailored 1:1 appointments, for children and young people. During assessment each individual child/young person and their family’s needs are taken into account.

The aim of the service is to support the child/young person and their family, to improve their diet and lifestyle to enable them to work towards achieving a healthy weight for their height.

Interventions are tailored to each individual child/young person’s and family’s needs and may include:

  • 1:1 appointment with Dietitian only.
  • A combination of above and/or attendance on a LAF programme.

The intervention is focused on a holistic approach, which helps families make sustained changes to tackle the child/young person’s unhealthy weight.

Objectives include:

Improve eating habits based around the principles outlined in the change4life promotion and tailored to individual child/young person and family’s needs.

  • To increase the child/young person’s self-esteem.
  • To increase physical activity levels.
  • To decrease sedentary behaviour.
  • Promote long term positive behaviour change.

Referring into the service

The Specialist Childhood Weight Management Service accepts referrals from all GP practices across the City.

In addition, referrals are received from:

  • School Nurses.
  • Health Visitors.
  • Paediatricians.
  • From CAF meetings.
  • The LAF team.
  • Allied Health Professional’s (AHP’s).
  • City Hospital Dietetics.
  • Social Workers.
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS and CYP’s).
  • Self-referral via LAF team*.
  • Psychologists.

Weight management and bariatric service

Based at Sunderland Royal Hospital, team members work with adults who are overweight or obese and offer a variety of services to support patients. These include:

  • 1:1 assessment and ongoing support for patients wishing to lose weight
  • Orlistat clinic is designed for patients who have undergone a 1:1 intervention but require additional support
  • Patients who have been referred by their GPs for bariatric surgery, the team support them on their bariatric journey

Working as part of the larger multi-disciplinary team, the dietitians and dietetic support workers offer a variety of dietetic interventions including:

  • Assessment
  • A weight management programme (Groups) are held at a variety of venues across the Sunderland area.
  • Preparation for surgery with regard to diet
  • Ongoing assessment and support following surgery

Diabetes management

Patients are offered face to face clinic appointments or group programmes to help them to manage their Diabetes. These group programmes and clinics are held in various venues across Sunderland. Evening groups and clinics are available. We also provide an annual diet screen for all patients with diabetes as part of the retinal screening programme. Our diabetes dietitians also support the diabetes consultants at various clinics.

General clinics

General clinics take place across Sunderland, Seaham and Washington which can provide support for numerous dietary issues. Patients are offered a choice of venue and time to suit their needs. Evening clinics are available. Dietitians are able to provide advice and support for all nutrition related issues. We offer domiciliary visits to those patients who reside in residential homes or are housebound to provide nutritional support advice.

Sunderland Royal Hospital

Kayll Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR4 7TP

Tel: 0191 565 6256

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Sunderland Eye Infirmary

Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR2 9HP

Tel: 0191 565 6256

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