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RNG/BDA Renal Dietitians working with a diverse group of patients to develop diet resources for dialysis.

Types of food eaten can vary between ethnic groups and therefore the information provided in dietary resources should reflect the cuisines consumed by patients. High potassium is a life threatening condition for those with kidney failure as it can cause the heart to suddenly stop. Potassium is commonly found in fruits and vegetables. Given the types of fruits and vegetables can vary greatly between the various ethnic groups, it is important that the information is tailored to allow those with kidney disease to eat foods that are familiar and comforting to them whilst they are undergoing dialysis treatment which can have a huge impact on daily life . Black and South Asian ethnic groups are 3-5 times more likely to be on dialysis than Caucasians. 27% of the population in London are from Black and minority ethnic groups.

Given this, 10 years ago, a group of British Dietetic Association (BDA) Renal Nutrition Group (RNG) dietitians devised a set of 3 diet resources aimed at the multi-ethnic community involving patients to help devise a relevant diet resource. These have been used throughout all the renal units in the UK over the last 10 years as they have been free to download to all renal dietitians to share with their patients. Funding was also sourced for translation to make it accessible to many kidney disease patients who may not read English as a first language. Having proven highly successful, 10 years on, the African-Caribbean, Chinese and South Asian diet resources are being updated as well as an additional 4th diet resource being produced for those from Eastern European communities.

The Working Party consists of 8 British Dietetic Association Renal Nutrition Group renal dietitians who work within the NHS, Lakshmi Chandrasekharan (Southend University Hospital Foundation NHS Trust), Susan Dawe (Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Trust), Tina Dilloway (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust), Severine Gregory-Smith (Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust), Deepa Kariyawasam (King’s College Hospital Foundation NHS Trust), Tadala Kolawale (Royal London and the Barts NHS Trust), Ruple Patel (Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust) and Gabby Ramlan (North Middlesex NHS Trust) . Some within this group have had a lifelong understanding of the cuisine within that ethnic group and some who gained their understanding through working with patients from these ethnic groups over many years and learning from them. All members have devoted a large part of their own free time researching the African, Caribbean, Chinese, Eastern European and South Asian diets. They have sourced the potassium contents of foods from many countries to help develop this set of diet sheets. This is a unique set of resources that we are not aware exists to such a comprehensive level nationally or internationally.

In addition to the diet resources for patients, the group are also keen to share their understanding and spread their enthusiasm with other UK dietitians to help understand diversity. They have developed a set of information notes and a glossary of foods to enable all renal dietitians within the BDA Renal Nutrition group to gain a better understanding of the various ethnic diets to better serve the multicultural population in the UK.

The need for this type of resource has been proven when an audit was undertaken in London dialysis units showing that 74% of men and 96% of women from Black and minority ethnic groups would like ethnic specific dietary information and the continued use of these diet resources prove its popularity within the BME community.

edited on Apr 27, 2018 by Deepa Kariyawasam
Deepa Kariyawasam

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Sunu Thomas May 3, 2018

Excellent work


McIntoshNichole May 8, 2018

Congratulations on your nomination for such a worthy cause! North Mid’s very own Gabby Ramlan is included and we are really proud of you all. We are rooting for you.


Susan Tutty May 10, 2018

Gabby has an enthusiasm for her work that encourages others to try and emulate her professionalism, knowledge and skills. I feel lucky to be working with her in the Diabetes team and am so pleased that her talents have been recognized.


Poh Ling Fields May 11, 2018

Congratulations on your nomination. You deserve the recognition. It has been a great pleasure to be working as a team.


(Account removed) May 18, 2018

This idea has been advanced to the current phase