High accolade for nutrition team

THE NUTRITION team from NHS Tayside have won the prestigious Dame Barbara Clayton Award for their coeliac disease service improvement programme.

In 2010 Fiona Headridge, specialist dietetic practitioner for coeliac disease, and Jacqueline Walker, Tayside nutrition managed clinical network manager, started the ‘Coeliac Disease Service Improvement Programme’ in order to better meet the needs of patients.

The traditional medical model of care is being shifted to a community-based approach which allows patients to manage their own treatment. This has included the trialling of a new way of providing gluten-free food prescriptions to people who suffer from coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.

Up until now, people had to visit their GP Practice to alter their gluten-free prescriptions, for example, changing from brown gluten-free bread to white gluten-free bread. This takes up valuable patient and GP time. The new Gluten-Free Food Scheme means that they don’t have to visit their GP Practice to manage their prescriptions, instead choosing their preferred gluten free-products from a list and ordering direct each month from their local community pharmacist.

Coeliac disease is a disorder of the small bowel. It is an auto-immune disease which means that the body produces antibodies which attack its own tissues. In people with coeliac disease a protein called gluten found in wheat, barley and rye causes this. Some people are also sensitive to oats. The only treatment for these conditions is by following a gluten-free diet for life.

Coeliac disease is thought to affect 1 in 100 people across Europe and it can occur at any age. There are a wide variety of symptoms which may include excessive tiredness, anemia, mouth ulcers, sore tongue, abdominal bloating, nausea, wind, diarrhoea, constipation and weight loss.

The team were given £1500 as part of the award, which will be used to further the work on coeliac disease and gluten-free improvements within Tayside.

If you would like more information visit www.taysidenutrition.scot.nhs.uk.