Hospital Nutrition

Clinical nutrition therapy in a hospital setting to encourage optimal nutritional status, and in doing so, ensure the best possible outcome as well as improve recovery post-discharge.


Patients are admitted to hospital on a day to day basis for various investigations, procedures and treatments. Having a good nutritional status is integral to ensuring the success of these admissions as well as help to improve the overall outcome. This is relevant for adults, but particularly for infants and children.

During a hospital admission the admitting doctor will decide whether a dietetic consult is required and will refer accordingly. Patients who feel they will benefit from such a consult are also able to request this from the admitting doctor.

A dietetic consult is requested in the following situations;

  • No oral intake; intravenous (parenteral), nasogastric or PEG (enteral) feeding will be prescribed.
  • Loss of appetite or a reduced oral intake; specialist medical nutrition supplement drinks are prescribed to top up oral intake and ensure that nutritional requirements are met.
  • Pre and post surgery; specialist medical nutrition supplement drinks are prescribed on top of normal food intake to help to speed up recovery.
  • Nutrition therapy and education to ensure the best way of eating for a diagnosis; for example low birth weight, metabolic disorders, diabetes , high blood pressure, high cholesterol, post stroke, COPD (lung disease) , pancreatitis, gastritis, hiatus hernia, colitis, diverticular disease, post op hiatus hernia repair, renal disease, anaemia, malnutrition, burns, wound healing, HIV, immune health, cancer, stoma bags (ileostomy or colostomy), thyroid conditions, sleep apnoea, weight management.
  • Special diets; co-ordination with the hospital kitchen is often necessary to ensure that the correct meal is prescribed at ward level.

An in-hospital dietetic consult will involve assessing the following:

  • Anthropometric measurements including; weight, height and BMI
  • Prescribed medications
  • Nutritional intake; including the ability to eat and appetite
  • Nutritional requirements
  • Relevant blood results (biochemistry)

The progress of in-hospital patients will be monitored as required, particularly for those on intravenous or tube feeds. A claim for all dietetic consults done in-hospital will be submitted directly to medical aids and is based on time spent. Provided there is a hospital plan the claims will not come out of medical aid savings.

We provide in-hospital consults at the following hospitals;

  • Alberlito Netcare (Ballito)
  • Victoria Mediclinic (Tongaat)
  • KwaDukuza Private (Stanger)

Our on call contact number is 082 226 3932.

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