Nutrition and diet




Service Overview


The Nutrition and Dietetics service aims to help you to better manage your health through eating well.

Our team is made up of dietitians, dietetic assistants, Macmillan dietetic assistant practitioners, community food workers and administrative staff. Click here for more information on the role of our team members.

After carrying out a nutritional assessment and identifying any dietary or nutrition problems, we look at the most up-to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease and turn this into practical guidance for each individual or situation. By doing this we support you to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices which suit your personal needs and help you to treat or prevent disease.

Working in health and social care settings across the whole of Ayrshire and Arran, our team provide services to all hospitals and GP practices. We also work within local authority and private venues such as care homes and nurseries, and we will see people in their own homes when medically appropriate. We also support organisations with training, guidance, policy and practical advice to help support their staff, clients and service users to eat well for better health.

Reasons for accessing our service

There are many reasons that may lead you to use our service. If you are looking for general information and advice on any of the following topics please click on the relevant link for further details.

  • Eating well for good health and well-being is for those who want to know more about a healthy diet for all ages and how their diet compares. 
  • Weight management - information, help and guidance on our healthy living pages about weight management.

Appointments and Clinics


What will happen during my one-to-one appointment with the Dietitian? 

Your initial appointment will last approximately forty five minutes.  In most instances the dietitian will ask you about your lifestyle and to recall in detail what you normally eat and drink. To make this easier you may wish to record what you eat and drink for three to four days before your appointment.

If you are able to stand unaided safely, your weight and height measurements may be taken. If you are wearing shoes and a jacket you may be asked to remove these to ensure the measurement is as accurate as possible.

You will also be asked relevant medical questions regarding health, symptoms etc.

The Dietitian will use this information to discuss appropriate dietary changes and agree goals. Verbal advice will be backed up with written information where required.

Further appointments will be arranged as necessary. 

I've been invited to attend a group session, what will happen there?

Group sessions normally involve 8-12 people and vary in length from 90 minutes to half a day. The location and timing of your specific session will be given to you in advance.

All sessions are facilitated by a staff member to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate. The groups are informal, practical, informative and fun. 

Top tip

It helps to write down any questions you have before your appointment or group session in case you forget to ask. The staff member will be happy to try and answer your questions. 

Should I have someone with me during my appointment?

Some people find it helpful to have a friend, relative or carer present, especially if they assist with shopping and cooking. 

My appointment is not suitable - what should I do? 

If for any reason your appointment is not suitable please let us know. 

We will be happy to arrange another appointment.Please give as much notice as possible. You may be helping someone else by allowing us to re-allocate valuable appointments. 

Failure to attend

If you do not contact the service to cancel or rearrange your appointment and you fail to attend, you will be discharged from the service and a letter will be sent to your referrer. 

Student Dietitians 

The department trains students and this means you may be seen by a student dietitian for part, or all of your consultation.  We will always tell you in advance when students are with the dietitian.  If you would prefer not to be seen by a student, or have a student present at your appointment, please let us know. 

Other useful information

If English is not your first language or you have hearing difficulties we can arrange for an interpreter or someone to sign for you.

If you wear glasses for reading it would be beneficial to have then with you

If the appointment is for a child under 5 years old, it would be useful to see the child's red book.


How to contact us 

East Ayrshire
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics
University Hospital Crosshouse
Kilmarnock Road
Telephone: 01563 827141
Fax: 01563 827699


North Ayrshire
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics
Ayrshire Central Hospital
Kilwinning Road
KA12 8SS
Telephone: 01294 323534
Fax: 01292 323533


South Ayrshire
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics
University Hospital Ayr
Dalmellington Road
Telephone: 01292 614508
Fax: 01292 617062



How do I access the service?

If you or someone you know think they would benefit from a referral, speak with your healthcare professional (District Nurse, GP, Consultant, Health Visitor and so on)*.

Referrals might be for any of the following conditions:

Adults    Children 
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease    (COPD)                                                     Coeliac disease                                                                           
Coeliac disease    Constipation 
Diabetes    Diabetes 
Diverticular disease      Dietary related migraines 
Dysphagia/modified consistency diets      Faltering growth 
Eating disorders    Food allergies 
Food allergy (confirmed)    Food refusal 
Hyperlipidaemia    Gastro-oesophageal reflux 
Inflammatory bowel disease
(Crohns and Colitis) 
   Inflammatory bowel disease
(Crohns and Colitis)
Iron deficiency anaemia     Obesity (BMI>91st centile)* 
Irritable bowel syndrome   Phenylketonuria (PKU) and other metabolic disorders 
Liver disease    
Motor neurone disease    
Renal disease      
Under nutrition/nutrition support    
Weight management/obesity*    


The above list is meant as a guide only, it is not exhaustive.

*Please note individuals can access Weigh to Go Ayrshire and Jump Start without a referral from a healthcare professional. If you would like to access one of these services please go to our weight management pages.