Public Health Dietitian

Shelley Wyer

As Public Health Dietetic Lead for Cwm Taf University Health Board, I lead and operationally manage a team of qualified dietitians and support staff. I have worked in this specialist area of dietetics for 13 years and we are fortunate to be based in a purpose-built community health park; combining health and social care under one roof. 

Shelley Wyer

Shelley Wyer

Why did you join NHS Wales? 

I joined Team NHS (National Health Service) Wales as a public health dietitian because I could see the difference this work could potentially make to individuals, communities, and families. 

Can you describe a typical day? 

A typical day in public health dietetics does not exist, as no two days are ever the same. Public health dietetics provides a varied and challenging career path, which is hugely rewarding.  

I will never tire of seeing children and adults grow and develop as a direct result of our training or hearing personal stories from community members regarding the lifestyle improvements and true impact of the work we carry out. There are so often many unexpected positive outcomes because of our work, such as access to employment, alongside the improved health outcomes and improved chronic disease management. 

What is the best part of your job? 

The best part of my job is seeing the benefits of our work play out in our most vulnerable groups within society. 

What made you decide to become a Dietitian? 

As a sixth form student, my Home Economics teacher invited a dietitian from our local Health Board to speak to us about the profession. During this visit she confided in me that she had always wanted to be a dietitian if she had not become a teacher. This combined with my father’s ill health and regular input from a dietitian sparked an interest in the profession and I went on to study a BSc (Best Supportive Care) in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. 

What do you need to be good at the role? 

You need to be hard working, organised, have good time management skills and be able to work well both autonomously and part of many different and varied multidisciplinary teams. 

Would you recommend a career in dietetics?  

I would recommend a career in public health dietetics because every day brings with it new challenges and rewards; but most importantly the work we do has a real impact on our local population, as well as on primary and secondary care services. 

It is a hugely rewarding area to work within, providing a real sense of pride and achievement when driving forward a quality and outcome focus to our own work and the work of others in the community. 

Public health dietetics provides an opportunity to challenge your creative side and think outside of the box to ensure we are embedding population health and well-being into everything we do and focussing on prevention of ill health for our most vulnerable within society. 

Within public health dietetics we cover a range of specialist areas such as early years nutrition, weight management, prediabetes, malnutrition, maternal obesity, education, policy development, research, and so the list goes on.