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Northland DHB Dietitians

Public Service, Other, Allied Health


What is a Dietitian?
Dietitians are registered health practitioners who evaluate scientific evidence about food and nutrition and translate it into practical strategies. 

Dietitians use their dietetic knowledge, skills, and judgement in a variety of contexts, which includes promoting and protecting public health, directing and delivering medical nutrition therapy services, and managing food and health systems. They may perform a variety of functions, including direct clinical roles, policy development, leadership, management, research, education, and communication roles.

Dietitians are accountable for ensuring that their practice is consistent with the Dietitians Board’s competency requirements, Code of Ethics and Conduct, and relevant legislation. Dietitians with a prescribing endorsement are able to prescribe special foods and approved nutrition-related medicines.

Inpatient Dietitian Services
The primary focus of the hospital dietitians is to support the service requirements of hospital inpatients and their treatment while in hospital. Patients will be referred as appropriate to a dietitian for specialised input during their admission. The dietitian will assess and recommend nutritional treatment to support the medical management of the patient. All Northland District Health Board hospitals (Whangārei, Dargaville, Bay of Islands and Kaitaia) have access to acute dietetic services as required. However, please note that patients at Dargaville, Bay of Islands and Kaitaia Hospitals are managed by dietitians based at Whangārei. 
Outpatient Dietitian Services
Some people require nutrition assessment and monitoring in an outpatient setting.  Clinic appointments or home visits (as required) may be appropriate. Outpatient clinics are offered at Whangārei Hospital and regionally around Northland.

Referral Expectations

The dietitian will read your medical notes and check your blood results, measure your height and weight or waist circumference and ask questions about your usual meal pattern, food choices and lifestyle. This will allow them to provide you with tailored information that will fit in with your life and support optimal health. They will work with you and your family/whānau to help you to plan realistic nutrition and lifestyle changes. The dietitian will explain any recommendations made and why they are needed and may provide written information to take away.

Work together with the dietitian by:

  • telling us as much as you can about the foods you choose and the amounts that you eat and drink
  • asking about things you don’t understand
  • trying the changes suggested by the dietitian
  • telling us about how the changes are going and if you are managing them
  • telling us if you have difficulty understanding the written and/or spoken information

Procedures / Treatments

  • For General Health Eating Information and Patient Resources Refer to:

    Health Navigator
    HealthEd More

Contact Details

Hannah McCarrison- Professional Advisor, Dietetics, Northland District Health Board

Whangarei Hospital
2 Hospital Road

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Street Address

Whangārei Hospital
2 Hospital Road

Postal Address

Whangārei Hospital
Private Bag 9742
Whangārei 0148

This page was last updated at 3:42PM on May 25, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Northland DHB Dietitians.