We were extremely disappointed to see the recent article in the Daily Mail referring to dietitians as 'non-essential' NHS staff. BAPEN is a multidisciplinary organisation, with a number of healthcare professional disciplines making up our membership, many of our members are dietitians and we are confident that every one of our members places high value on the dietetic profession.
Over the last few months we have seen extraordinary efforts from dietitians across the country who are on the front line caring for patients with COVID-19. Dietitians are involved in caring for patients who are ventilated on intensive care units. In many instances it is dietitians having to perform procedures such as nasogastric tube insertion without access to full PPE. Beyond ICU, dietitians have been working hard with patients in rehabilitation, helping them to regain muscle lost through the course of their disease.
BAPEN recently ran Service Improvement and Innovation Awards and we were delighted to receive many nominations from dietetics teams from across the country, explaining how they had redesigned services to ensure that patients could access the best care possible in difficult times. We have also been delighted to have a number of dietitians involved in our Annual Conference webinar series, sharing best Covid-19 practice and learnings gained through this frontline work.
The Covid-19 response has required an immense commitment from health and social care professionals of all kinds, and dietitians, along with their colleagues mentioned in the article such as physiotherapists, have played a large part. We would invite anybody who is in any doubt of the value of dietitians to talk to us to find out more about the esteem with which the profession is held within our wider community.