Inspirational Story

Toni Bailey

Name: Toni Bailey

Role: Dietetic Associate Practitioner at Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust, Community Learning Disabilities Team

What is your current role?

I am a Band 4 Dietetic Associate Practitioner within a Community Learning Disabilities Team (CLDT) in the Leeds and York Partnership Foundation NHS Trust.

We (CLDT Dietetics) support service users with a Learning Disability and nutrition related issues which can include being overweight, underweight, tube feeding or diabetes.


What did you study at school?

I studied History, Science & Art at high school. My favourite subject was Art, I love crafting!

After school I then studied Health & Social Care at College (BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma), and then I went on to complete a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Children’s Care, Learning and Development at a Private Day Nursery.


How did you get into working in an AHP support role?

After completing my Apprenticeship, I was keen to bring my Health & Social Care and Childhood studies qualifications together. I then applied to be a Band 3 Dietetic Assistant (DA) in a Children’s Nutrition and Dietetic Community NHS Team and got the job!

During my time as a DA, I completed a 2 year part time Nutrition Support Higher Education course at Leeds Beckett University and I then had the opportunity to apply for my current role as a Band 4 Dietetic Associate Practitioner (DAP).

My work is always supported by a Registered Dietitian; we work together to create plans for service users and discuss progress and next steps

Any lightbulb moments experienced whilst working as an Dietetic Assistant or Associate Practitioner?    

Definitely! I quickly realised early in my Dietetic career just how much I enjoy working in a Community Healthcare team.

Working in the community means you are able to build a really good rapport with your service users as you see them in their normal day-to-day life. I also love how varied each day is.


What your current role looks like day to day?

Each day is very different. Some days I work from home, some days I am in the office and some days I am visiting service users at their homes and/or other community settings.

My usual tasks include; weighing service users, reviewing dietary plans, healthy eating education, creating resources for specific service users, amending enteral feeding orders, attending meetings, facilitating training sessions for service users/families/care staff teams, supporting student Dietitian training, participating in team projects and much more.

My work is always supported by a Registered Dietitian; we work together to create plans for service users and discuss progress/next steps.


Any advice for those considering working in an AHP support role?

Go for it! Being in an AHP support role means I have been able to gain amazing experience and learn so many new skills from working directly with Dietitians and the wider multi-disciplinary teams, but it has also provided me with exciting opportunities to enhance my career.


Is there anything additional you would like to share about your experience?

At school and college, I didn’t do well with the thought of sitting exams, the thought of it would make me feel anxious and I worried this would stop me from doing well. Because of this, I chose education routes that didn’t require exams at the end.

My college course, apprenticeship and higher education course were all coursework based, which has been great for me and has meant that despite my worries, I have been able to progress my career without sitting a single exam since high school.

Recently, universities in England have begun opening spaces on Dietetic Apprenticeship courses, which means aspiring Dietitians can enter their chosen career path via an apprenticeship, which enables them to work whilst learning.

This is something that opens up exciting pathways for Dietetic Assistant Practitioner’s, like me, who wish to further their career and qualify as a Dietitian.