Dietitians win national award for virtual help group

KCHFT dietitians collect their award from Gemma Machell, Clinical Practice Manager at Nutricia Flocare, the award sponsor

The Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Team, at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), has won the Sustainability Initiative Award in this year’s Clinical Nutrition Magazine Awards, for setting up a virtual cow’s milk allergy group for new parents.

The award is for a team or person who makes healthcare more sustainable and reduces its impact on the environment. The team won as the virtual group means families do not have to travel and fewer letters are sent out. Winners will enjoy an afternoon tea prize-giving ceremony in London, at the end of September. The group was set up as part of a quality improvement (QI) project led by the dietitians.

Elaine Greenman, a highly specialist paediatric dietitian and team leader at KCHFT, said: “I am absolutely thrilled our team has won this award, not only because of the huge amount of work put in by my colleagues, but also the clear drive in KCHFT to create more sustainable care.”

As well as its green credentials, which align with the sustainable care ambition in KCHFT’s We care strategy, the virtual cow’s milk allergy group has resulted in families being able to access help quicker and less time worrying. The group helps parents and carers who need feeding and weaning advice during a baby’s first few months. It involves expert advice from KCHFT dietitians, as well as allowing parents to chat and share their experiences.

Elaine said: “This is a patient group where advice and treatment is relatively prescriptive and generic and makes up a quarter of referrals the team receive. We collated evidence-based advice that has routinely been delivered in one-to-one, face-to-face, video or phone consultations, into a one stop shop solution of a two-and-a half hour group session, comfortably managing 15 parents/carers at a time.”

The accolade follows hot on the heels of KCHFT being one of just four finalists in the Greener Allied Health Professions Awards, for its elbow crutch recycling scheme, set up following a quality improvement project at KCHFT, with winners to be announced mid-October.

Pictured is Gemma Machell, Clinical Practice Manager at Nutricia Flocare, the award sponsor, with members of the KCHFT Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Team Melissa Jeffrey, Elaine Greenman and Trista Lam.

Find out more about the cow’s milk allergy group improvement project