Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

27th July 2016

Dietician or personal choice?

An adult lady with a learning disability lives in supported living . She is under the guidance of a dietician so staff help her to manage her diet. Recently she wants to eat unhealthy foods, e.g. 3 packs of crisp for tea, and management say to let her have it. Due I follow the dietician or management?

Dear Suzy,

Thank you for your question, which although looking straightforward is in reality complex.

This is a question that should be posed to a multi-disciplinary team which includes the GP, a hospital consultant if there is one involved, the local authority social worker, the ladies family, the dietician and your service.

I think you or your Manager need to begin by speaking to the ladies social worker because I believe the local authority should probably convene a meeting of the Multi-Disciplinary Team to discuss what the options are. This cannot be the decision of the service alone there must be other professionals involved in making any decisions and of course not taking advice from other professionals may have serious consequences.

If the lady has Mental Capacity then of course she can make her own decisions even if they appear to be unwise but she should have access to the best advice too.

You should put in writing to your manager your concerns and keep a copy.

Best wishes,


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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