First Community Health and Care has taken over responsibility for providing dietetic services for children with learning disabilities in East Surrey.

Dietitians use public health and scientific research on food and health which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.

The company’s highly experienced children’s dietitians will be supporting children and young people under 19 with a learning disability who have dietary and nutritional problems. Children with a learning disability can often experience eating and swallowing difficulties which can lead to missing out on the essential nutrients they need for their physical and mental development.

The team assesses children and develops treatment plans to meet the individual nutritional needs of each child. Children may need to be supported by the service throughout their childhood and their plans will be regularly reviewed and updated as their needs change.

Families who have been receiving support from Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will be introduced to the new team within the coming weeks. Visit www.firstcommunityhealthcare.co.uk  for more information about First Community.

First Community Service Lead, Anna FitzGibbon, said: “We are delighted to be taking on these services for such a vulnerable group of children and young people. The interventions of our experienced staff will have a positive impact for the children both now and in the longer term. This service complements the other dietetic services we currently provide to children and adults across east Surrey, Crawley and Horsham.”

Referrals can be made by GPs and other health and social care professionals directly to the dietetic team.