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NHS trust dietitians highlight most successful diet for nutrition campaign

Patient with dietitian Veronica Mitchell
Patient with dietitian Veronica Mitchell

This year’s Nutrition and Hydration Week will be held 14- 20 March and Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust (HRCH) will be highlighting their dietitians’ excellent nutritional advice service for local people.

HRCH is one of the only NHS trusts in the outer London area who have dietitians specialised in the low FODMAP diet - an exclusion diet designed to help those with IBS, inflammatory bowel disease and coeliac disease. FODMAP is the most successful treatment for symptoms of IBS and allows patients to self-manage their symptoms. 

Annie Timothy, who lives in Chiswick, has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which, for the last two years, had been getting worse. She had severe symptoms of indigestion, stomach cramps, reflux and was referred to HRCH’s Nutrition & Dietetics service at Chiswick Health Centre by her GP in December 2015. One of HRCH’s dietitians, Veronica Mitchell, showed her how to self-manage her condition using the low FODMAP diet.

Annie said, “I found that it helped with the symptoms of IBS and sorted it out. The symptoms have mostly gone and when I’ve had any questions or wasn’t sure about something, I’d email her. She is a very precious resource for the NHS.

She said, “Because eating is something you do every day of your life, you have to take responsibility for it. You’re in control of the condition that you previously felt that you had no control over.”

Veronica said, “The beauty of it is that you’re in control of your diet. Because the diet is just made up of food guidelines, Annie is in charge of her treatment. 

She said, “It’s good to allow her the freedom to choose what she eat and if she has any problems or questions then she can talk to me about it. There’s such a wide-range of food, so she gets to decide what she eats and how she manages her condition and I just help her with it.” 

HRCH’s dietitian team take referrals from all healthcare professionals. Patients are usually referred via their healthcare provider e.g. GP/practice nurse/consultant. All referrals are to be sent to the Referral Facilitation Service (RFS). 

For more information on HRCH's nutrition and dietetic service please call 020 8973 3570.