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Working as a Dietitian in the Private Sector

I am blog naïve – I don’t usually read them and I’ve never written one. However, there’s a first time for everything. I’m not at all sure what potential readers might want to know about, so please share if there are specific topics you’d be interested in.

Working in the private sector is a new area for me, and I am very pleased to be able to use a room at Solihull Wellbeing Clinic, where there are a broad range of other health professionals working alongside me. Many people have never met with a dietitian and some are anxious at the thought of doing so. There's no need for anxiety, as I am just a down to earth person wanting to help. We are trained in behaviour change, motivational interviewing and medical science (amongst other things), as well as nutrition. There may be a variety of reasons clients seek dietary advice, for example for support with gaining or losing weight, or to manage specific health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular/coronary heart disease, high cholesterol or coeliac disease.

In addition to physical health management, there can be psychological aspects to dietetic work which need to be addressed. Although I have training in these areas, and combine this expertise with dietary advice offered, I am privileged to be able to access counselling and psychology services under the same roof, where needed. I find that other health professionals see dietetic input as an advantage in their work, leading them to access my service similarly.

Issues around bodyweight, food or eating practices may impact on psychological wellbeing and visa versa: emotional health may affect appetite, leading to changes in dietary intake and consequently weight or physical health changes. Emotional eating is commonplace, as food can be a source of comfort and grounding, often engrained since childhood. This can lead to unhealthy relationships with food and potentially to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, food addiction or bulimia nervosa. Without professional advice, these conditions can become debilitating.

Moving into the private sector is an interesting journey – I’m developing a new blog and a new work ethic. It’s quite a change from working within the NHS, where caseloads can be heavy, limiting the length of time I can spend with each patient. In the private setting, there is the opportunity to give clients my all, both during consultation time and where needed, to dedicate additional time to researching individual requirements outside of clinic. This not only leads to better outcomes for clients, it also improves the self-esteem and overall wellbeing of health professionals, myself included. I’m enjoying feeling more enabled to deliver an optimum dietetic service to clients, and can relax in the thought that it is improving my own wellbeing too!

Rosemary Allen

Registered Dietitian

Rosemary has clinical experience working with adults, within diet and nutrition community services. She specialises in weight management, diabetes (types I and II) and pregnancy (including gestational diabetes). Other special interest areas include underweight, coeliac disease, physical and learning disabilities and eating disorders, but she routinely advises on general dietary matters. Her approach involves full clinical assessment and draws on Mindfulness, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) principles to develop individualised treatment plans, featuring specific dietary and lifestyle goals, sensitively tailored to personal requirements and circumstances.

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