As part of New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, the Dietitians Board office is currently closed. Staff will be returning to the office on Monday 8 June 2020. 

The Dietitians Board is aware of the enormous pressure that our registered health professionals are under across all health care settings as part of New Zealand’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In particular we recognise the work Dietitians are doing to ensure that they can provide the best possible care to their patients & clients and also help to protect the public and themselves during this challenging time.

UPDATES, INFORMATION & RESOURCES

ALERT LEVEL 2 UPDATE

As we move to Alert Level 2 on 14 May 2020 the Ministry of Health has issued guidance to the Allied Health sector which covers Dietitians – please refer to the Allied Health Professions web page regularly for up to date messaging and a letter from Dr Martin Chadwick – MoH Lettter to Allied Health Professionals.

Health practitioners are a high risk group of both contracting and transmitting COVID-19. The management of these risks needs to be balanced with continuing to provide equitable and essential health and disability services.

As indicated in earlier communications Dietitians working within a DHB continue to work as previously – DHB’s have their own set of guidelines and protocols that DHB dietitians need to follow.

Under Alert Level 2 Dietitians working in a non-DHB environment can “return to the workplace” as long as measures are taken to protect the health and safety of the public and themselves.

Dietitians working in private practice and in the community are able to see clients/patients in-person if the following processes are in place:

  • Screening for COVID-19 symptoms prior to in-person appointment
  • Physical distancing measures
  • Infection prevention control measures including PPE where required
  • Please follow Ministry of Health Guidelines and the requirements of any facility you are visiting

Please refer to our Alert Level 2 Update for more information and dedicated pages on screening and contact tracing.

Dietitians are able to travel within and to neighbouring regions to provide care to clients/patients and receive training.
 
Physical distancing must be in place for any type of treatment, consultation or training.

Telehealth and virtual appointments remain the preferred option in Alert Level 2. Please exercise extra caution when treating vulnerable groups.

Key messages for health practitioners at Alert Level 2 are:

  1. Screening is paramount
  2. Physical distancing remains
  3. Best practice hygiene must be applied
  4. Professional/clinical discretion and judgement should be applied
  5. Mitigate all/any risk for clients/patients and self
  6. Patients/clients must have confidence in their health practitioner

Ministry of Health has advised it is expected that professional bodies, as well as employers, will operationalise the Alert Level 2 guidance to their local context.

ALERT LEVEL 3 UPDATE

MoH Information for Allied Health Professionals

Dietitians working within essential services continue to work as they did during Level 4.

Dietitians working in a non-DHB environment are required to provide dietetic services and care via virtual appointments. In-person appointments may be provided for urgent care only so long as dietitians can take appropriate measures to manage public health. Refer to the Decision Tree.

DHB’s will have their own set of guidelines and protocols that DHB dietitians will need to follow.

Ministry of Health Guidance for Community Allied Health Services – Letter from Dr Martin Chadwick, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer.

Urgent Care – Community Allied Health Professionals

For those of you working in the community, the Ministry of Health has advised that “urgent care” for community allied health professionals is defined as:
1. a condition which is life or limb threatening OR
2. treatment required to maintain the basic necessities of life OR
3. treatment that cannot be delayed or carried out remotely without risk of significant harm or permanent and/or significant disability
Any or all of which cannot be delivered by a service which is currently operating, or by health professionals that are already in contact with the patient.

Am I able to provide dietetic services?

Registered Dietitians can deliver telehealth services remotely at any COVID-19 Alert Level. The practitioner must maintain their ‘bubble’ by meeting virtually (not physically) with patients/clients and their whānau. At Alert Levels 3 and 4, virtual consultations are the preferred method of service delivery.

The Decision Tree will assist practitioners to determine whether a patient/client requires an in-person consultation during Alert Levels 3 and 4.

At Alert Level 4, only dietitians working within essential services are allowed to work onsite and meet with patients/clients in-person to provide urgent care.

At Alert Level 3, a broader group of dietitians are allowed to provide urgent dietetic care in-person. The Board expects dietitians to use a high level of clinical judgement when considering whether a patient/client meets the urgent care criteria for an in-person consultation and takes appropriate measures to manage public health risks.

How do I prescribe remotely?

For those of you who prescribe and are working remotely the MoH has published frequently asked questions about remote prescribing on its website. Other useful information can be found via the links provided below:

Where can I find information about providing dietetic services virtually?

The Dietitians Board Guidelines on Telehealth is a good source of information and resource as is New Zealand Telehealth Forum and Resource Centre.

Frequently Asked Questions

Information can be found HERE about the following:

  • Changing between Alert Levels
  • Assessing patients/clients
  • Limiting transmission
  • Future practice

USEFUL LINKS

New Zealand Government Links

COVID Alert System

Detailed COVID-19 Alert Levels

COVID Updates

Ministry of Health Links

COVID-19 Health and Disability System Response Plan

Ministry of Health COVID19 website

COVID-19 factsheets and guidance for health professionals

Advice for all health professionals

Information for essential workers in health and non-health workplaces on keeping safe at work and at home, and using personal protective equipment at work

Guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in health care

Regional Public Health Links

Regional Public Health (Public)

Regional Public Health (Health Professionals)

Telehealth Links

New Zealand Telehealth Forum and Resource Centre

In Person Terminology

Information sharing advice for health care workers

Health Quality & Safety Commission

COVID-19 and communicating with patients and whānau

COVID-19 Resource Hub

PHARMAC

PHARMAC’s response

Information for Prescribers

Dietitians Board Links

Guidelines on Telehealth

Social Media Guidelines

Dietitians New Zealand Links

Access to Food and What to Eat

COVID 19

ANNUAL PRACTISING CERTIFICATES (APC), REGISTRATION & OTHER APPLICATIONS

Annual Practising Declarations are undertaken through the Dietitians Login.

Please contact the office on administration@dietitiansboard.org.nz to establish current procedure during this lock-down period if you are applying for any of the following:

  • Registration
  • Mutual Recognition (APD)
  • Return to Practice
  • Recognition of Qualifications for Overseas Trained Dietitians
  • Restoration to the Register
  • Cancel entry on the Register