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The information below covers the most common areas that dietitians support within primary care

Frailty and malnutrition

Dietitians can reduce frailty and the risk associated with it by managing malnutrition - ensuring those at risk of malnutrition have an appropriate dietetic intervention. Dietitians in primary care can play a vital role in the prevention of frailty and malnutrition through early identification. 

Our goals

  • early diagnosis
  • optimise nutrition management
  • reduce GP consultations
  • reduce referrals into secondary care
  • significant cost-saving strategies across the PCN

Following dietetic intervention, patients improved various outcome measures including; weight, BMI and handgrip strength.

Significant projected total annual cost savings of £15,379 were made by a dietitian reviewing oral nutritional supplements in just 27 patients in primary care.

People with diabetes

Dietitians can diagnose and manage pre-diabetes and diabetes in primary care. They are effective at improving diabetes control, achieving reductions in weight and waist circumference as well as improving diet quality. Dietitians provide early support and ongoing dietary and medication management of glycaemic control to reduce long term complications. Their expertise can support meeting the quality outcomes framework related to diabetes care.

Our goals

  • reduce or prevent the development of diabetes
  • reduce long term complications
  • support weight loss and improved quality of life for people with overweight or obesity

“Diabetes prevention programmes delivered by dietitians had greater weight loss outcomes”

People with overweight or obesity

Dietitians can support patients with a variety of weight management approaches to help reduce weight, manage co-morbidities associated with overweight or obesity, and improve quality of life. Their expertise can be shared across the multi-professional team to increase overall quality of care. Requirements of the Enhanced Service Specification for weight management can also be supported by the dietitian.

Over 60% of the population in England are overweight or obese. Over 3 million people in England have diabetes (90% have type 2).


Dietitians can diagnose and manage a range of nutrition and dietetic conditions including IBS. Dietitians can also support with the correct identification and diagnosis of suspected food allergies and intolerances.

Our goals

  • significant reduction in GP appointments
  • early diagnosis and treatment of conditions
  • improved quality of life for patients

Gastrointestinal conditions represent a significant proportion of GP consultations, with IBS being the most prevalent. Patients with undiagnosed IBS visit their GP ten times more frequently than matched patients.

Dietitians are able to reduce symptoms for 70% of patients with IBS and improve quality of life for 74% of patients.


Dietitians can support paediatric populations with the diagnosis and management of a number of conditions relating to nutrition and dietetics including; faltering growth, constipation, gastro-oesophageal reflux, obesity, cow’s milk protein allergy, food allergies and intolerances, food avoidance and fussy eating, as well as nutrient deficiencies such as iron deficiency. They can also provide expert advice and education for parents and for the multi-professional team.

Our goals

  • speed up diagnosis and treatment
  • support early identification of food allergies and intolerances
  • reduction of misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis
  • improve patient care and outcomes
  • reduction in GP appointments
  • cost savings by ensuring appropriate prescribing of infant formula and specialist feeds
  • signpost for appropriate ongoing management