Dietitians work with people who are nutritionally at risk because they are unwell and/or undergoing treatment that affects their nutritional status and their ability to eat.

We also educate and help patients change their diet if they have a medical condition that can be eased with nutrition. These conditions include diabetes, kidney disease, dysphagia and coeliac disease.

We mainly assess and treat adult inpatients, but we also provide outpatient care within certain specialist services. In 2015, we treated 4,290 new patients.

Main areas of work

Our 18 dietitians work across the whole hospital with patients who have specialised nutritional needs. Our main areas of work are:

  • Intensive care
  • Renal disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Heart/lung transplantation
  • Major gastrointestinal surgery and pancreatitis
  • Spinal injuries and orthopaedic surgery
  • Care of the older person
  • Inherited metabolic disorders

We work closely with the medical, nursing, speech and language therapy, catering, and the wider health and social care teams to provide each patient with the best of care.

Referral Information

Our service is dedicated primarily to inpatients of the Mater Hospital. However, we also provide a limited service to outpatients within specific specialties. All patients must be under the care of a Mater Hospital consultant and be referred by a member of that medical team. 

If you are concerned about your or your family member’s nutritional status/need for a specialised diet, please contact your GP or your local health service. They can then refer you on to the appropriate dietetics service.  

How to get a referral

If you are an outpatient, you will receive an appointment directly from Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Department. If for any reason you can’t attend, please contact us as soon as possible on the contact number above, so that we can offer the appointment to another patient on our waiting list.

Education and research

All of our dieticians are committed to continuous professional development and regularly attend training and education events.  Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College dietetics undergraduates undertake their clinical placements in our department, and we contribute to teaching on courses run by our professional body, the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI). 

If you are considering a career in dietetics, the department run two career events each year. Please contact us on the contact number above for more information. These events usually take place in April and November.

We are also actively involved in audit and project work. Some of our recent and current projects are detailed below.

  • ICU/INS audit. The International Nutrition Survey ICU compares the Mater Hospital’s ICU nutrition practices to evidence-based best practice guidelines and other ICUs internationally.
  • Audit of weight change in dialysis inpatients. This audit was undertaken to determine the average time to dietetic referral of haemodialysis patients admitted acutely to the Mater Hospital. It examined whether this time to referral had an impact on the patient's weight on discharge. This audit also looked at the relationship between length of stay and degree of weight loss in this patient group.
  • Implementation of standardised nutrition. We have adopted the nutrition care process and model after getting involved in a national pilot project on the process. The process has been adopted internationally to standardise the steps in the dietetic patient management process and to deliver measurable outcomes. Department members are involved in ongoing training and are represented nationally on an INDI steering group, in order to roll out the process across other dietetic departments in the future.
  • Catering. We have worked on improving the appearance of meals served on the standard hospital menu, in partnership with the catering staff. 
  • Refeeding protocol. We have developed a protocol for identifying and managing patients who are at risk of refeeding syndrome. This was completed in partnership with the pharmacy staff.

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