New parents share feeding worries at virtual group

Mother and baby Abigal Grieve and baby Zachary Finch who used the virtual cows milk allergy group

Mum Abigail Grieve, 30, is just one parent who has benefitted from attending the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust’s (KCHFT) new virtual cow’s milk allergy group.

Her son Zachary was diagnosed at just five-weeks-old after he had an adverse reaction and an emergency trip to hospital.

She said: “Afterwards, we went to see our GP and he referred us to a dietitian. I was contacted and offered the chance to join the group.”

Abigail, from Herne Bay, was invited to attend a session when Zachary was 16-weeks-old.

She said: “Google can be good in some ways, but going to the group clarified different things for me and explained everything. Zachary is my third child and I didn’t have this with the other two.“

Abigail was breastfeeding Zachary and following the family’s trip to hospital, was advised to stop eating dairy and not to introduce her son to dairy during weaning, until he’d had further tests.

The cow’s milk allergy group means families can access help quicker, reducing referral to treatments times from eight to four weeks. This means less time worrying and being virtual, families do not have to travel to get to appointments.

Introduced by a paediatric dietitian and an administrator, the virtual session includes a presentation, followed by up to 45 minutes of discussion and 60 minutes of web chat, where needed.

Elaine Greenman, KCHFT’s Highly Specialist Paediatric Dietitian said: “We have collated evidence-based advice into a one stop shop solution of a two-and-a half hour group session, comfortably helping 15 parents and or carers at a time.”

Another mum, Kirsty Curry, 32, from Maidstone, also found the group helpful, when her daughter Sienna was seven-months-old.

She said: “I was referred by my health visitor. I found it really helpful and quickly received a letter for my doctor to switch Sienna’s formula.

“The group also cleared up many questions I didn’t realised I had yet from the other parents asking them. The dieticians were full of knowledge and able to answer all questions with knowledge.”

* In May, the KCHFT Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Team was shortlisted in the national Clinical Nutrition Awards for the Cows Milk Allergy group work.

Find out more about the KCHFT Children’s Dietetics Service

Below is the team’s flash of brilliance, which explains how the Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Team developed the group session. This increased capacity and reduced waiting times for a patient group.

The Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics cows milk allergy group sessions flash of brilliance