Nutrition and Dietetics

Nutrition and Dietetics

The Nutrition and Dietetics service is a team of paediatric dietitians working closely with clinicians in all medical and surgical specialties across Alder Hey, advising on therapeutic diets or nutritional support for our inpatients.

When a child or young person is referred to us we will:

  • Assess the need for dietary management.
  • Check height, weight and other measures of growth and nutritional status.
  • Plan the correct feed or diet therapy based on our assessment.
  • Explain the dietary treatment to the child/young person and carer in a way that is understandable and manageable.
  • Monitor the child/young person’s progress and advice on changes when needed.
  • Keep all the healthcare professionals involved up to date about any dietary changes.

We also attend multidisciplinary clinics with specialist teams and run busy dietetic-led outpatient clinics for children and young people. We accept referrals from Alder Hey Consultants and other health care professionals.

About the team

Our team is made up of 23 paediatric dietitians, a dietetic assistant and administration support based in Alder Hey hospital. The specialist dietitians work in clinical areas such as;  

Inherited Metabolic Disorders, Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Cardiology, Surgery, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU/HDU), Ketogenics, Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer, Diabetes, Eating Disorders and Food Allergy.

We work closely with all members of the multidisciplinary team in order to provide holistic care for our children/young people.

We also work with our team of 6 Special Feeds Unit (SFU) staff who are a dedicated team and prepare specialist infant feeds and enteral feeds on a daily basis for our inpatients.

The special feeds unit (SFU) is an integral part of the dietetic department, responsible for the safe preparation of specialised infant formulas and enteral feeds to exacting standards of accuracy, under stringent safety and hygiene conditions which meet the requirements of the Food Standards Act 1999.

The SFU should only be used for the preparation of specialised infant formulas and enteral feeds.

Sterile, ready to feed infant formulae are provided on the wards for children.

Requests for special infant formulae and enteral feeds should be ordered through the order entry section on Meditech.

The Special Feeds Unit (SFU) is open 365 days a year on extension 2266.

  • 8.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
  • 8.00am to 2.00pm Weekends and Bank Holidays 

Contact Us

Our core opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm.

Tel: 0151 252 5231

Location and facilities

The hospital dietetic department is located on Level 3, outside Ward 3C in the main hospital building.  

The Special Feeds Unit is on Level 4 of the main hospital building.


Referrals are accepted from Alder Hey hospital consultants and other Alder Hey health care professionals

We accept referrals for children/young people under the care of an Alder Hey Consultant.

In patients and out patients can be referred into the service by letter or Meditech.

Please include the following information in the referral;

  • Patient demographics, including gestational age where relevant
  • Current weight and length/ height and Body Mass Index for children over 2yrs of age, head circumference if under 2 years
  • Previous growth history
  • Relevant medical history
  • Relevant dietetic history
  • Relevant medication history
  • Reason for referral
  • If an interpreter is required and if so, which language

We do not accept referrals for common childhood nutritional problems as these are more correctly dealt with by the community dietetic team. These include iron deficiency, obesity and constipation.

We do not accept referrals from GP’s, these referrals should be made to the community dietetic service.

Useful Websites

British Dietetic Association




Healthy eating  




Congenital Heart Disease


Coeliac disease


Cystic fibrosis








Artificial Nutrition Support    




PKU (Phenylketonuria)




Inherited Metabolic Diseases 



Alder Hey Children's Charity
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Alder Hey Children's Charity