We are a large Department of over 80 staff encompassing HCPC Registered Dietitians, Dietetic Assistants and Admin staff. We cover acute services to Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie Maternity Hospital primarily.
What do Dietitians at CUH do?
- We are qualified to translate the science of nutrition in health and disease into practical information about food
- We work as members of a multidisciplinary team to look after patients who are under the care of a consultant at CUH. They visit patients receiving hospital care (or their carers) to check on their health and ensure their diet meets their requirements. They can also be involved in treating disease by diet, for example people who have diabetes or coeliac disease
- We work to promote good health by teaching the public and other health professionals about diet and nutrition
- We act as advisors to the Trust on the nutritional standards and specifications for the patient food service to ensure that the needs of all patients can be met
Who do we help?
There are four specialist teams in our department, each managed by a Principal Dietitian. Below are some examples (but not limited to) patient groups we treat. As a large, tertiary referral centre with many regional and national commissioned services, there is plenty of variety!
Renal / Gastro / Hepatology Team: Dialysis, nephrology, EPS, transplant (liver, kidney, pancreas, small bowel, multi visceral), intestinal failure, IBS, IBD, Coeliac
Oncology and Critical Care: Upper GI, head and neck, pancreatic cancers, haematology and stem cell transplant, ITU and neuro critical care, home enteral feeding and MND. Cancer patients are followed from diagnosis across their whole pathway.
MODEL Team: admission avoidance Type 1 (24 hour) service, diabetes educators, DAFNE, insulin pump therapy, diabetes outreach team, adult metabolics, cardiac rehab, tier 3 obesity services. The Dietitians working within diabetes work as Diabetes Educators having the same skills set as the Specialist Nurses. Much of the team is involved in research and innovative projects and services.
Paediatric Team: one of the largest non-Children’s hospital based teams in the country that pretty much cover all the areas that are mentioned above in the adult sections!
How we support our staff
New staff members have a thorough induction programme aimed at meeting as many staff members as possible. They have a dedicated mentor (preceptor) to support them as they start and develop them through their PDP and appraisal moving forwards.
For Band 5s, CUH also operates and award winning Preceptorship programme to support staff within their 1st year Post Registration. This is multi professional and you will gain knowledge about the wider NHS, plans for your future development and interact with other health professionals. There is a Trust wide Preceptorship team who will also support your development.
There are internal development programmes for all Grades of staff, across both adults and paediatrics for Dietitians and Dietetic Assistants.
Why work with the CUH Dietitians?
- Our staff engagement scores are high, making us one of the engaged departments in the Trust!
- We have a dedicated social committee – it’s a difficult task getting the whole department out socially twice a year. Teams also have their own fun sessions outside of work
- Our vision is to become a world leading centre for dietetic research and become a leader in developing and supporting clinical academic careers
- Research strategy with links to Cambridge and Hertfordshire Universities
- Strong in-house career development opportunities
- Staff development plans (including 2 appraisals yearly)
- External training opportunities and attendances at conferences
Our achievements and awards
- The Department has a strong research ethos and has successfully supported 2 staff to gain NIHR funded PhD Fellowships
- Winner – 2018 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Eastern Celebration Award in the ‘Inspiration’ category
- CUH You Made a Difference Award winner and numerous nominations
- Members of 3 NICE Guideline Committees (Diverticular Disease, Neonatal PN and Pancreatic Cancer).
- 4 x BDA Specialist Group Committee members
- Representing the Trust at National level (DOM UK, Pancreatic Society, JDRF)
- Over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals, abstracts, chapters of books written in recent years
Anouska - Advanced Specialist Dietitian
When I first started at CUH we were only a department of 35 dietitians, now we have grown to ~90 dietitians which has included the expansion of the critical care dietetic team. I am proud of the fact that we are professional yet friendly, sociable, supportive bunch and give 100% to be ‘safe, kind and excellent’ especially during the pandemic. Personally I am proud that this past year I passed my Mary Seacole leadership course, had the opportunity to be mentored by Chief Nurse Lorraine Szeremata, have been part of national working groups for BDA CCSG (Critical care specialist group) and helped produce and deliver national dietetic outcomes audit tool and also post ICU nutrition information for ICU steps website. I was successful in the application of the Greenshoots award 2020/22, which will support me to develop as a new primary investigator, take forward research in ICU dietetics within the dietetic department and also further raise the profile of dietetic research within CUH while supporting the EFFORT trial.
As a critical care dietitian I work alongside and lead the critical care dietetic team and work with an amazing critical care MDT to deliver the best possible evidenced based nutritional care to patients in intensive care, to support their recovery and ensure that we continue to develop our service.
In addition to my clinical role, I am also involved in teaching and lecturing, attending relevant meetings within the Trust and nationally to network and represent CUH critical care dietetics, develop & produce guidelines, protocols and patient literature, take part in regular audit, service evaluation and research, take part in national working groups and also presenting at relevant study days/conferences. I am involved in student training and also a preceptor, keyworker and mentor to our Band 5 dietitians.
I chose to become a Dietitian as my passion for food, cooking and the impact it has on our physical and mental well being stemmed from my childhood. I grew up with parents who are amazing cooks and experiencing many culinary delights at a young age thanks to my Mauritian roots. Also I excelled at home economics at school as well as the sciences. ‘Dietitian’ came in the top 5 of my careers choice from my career advisor and spent my work experience shadowing dietitians in my local community.
I graduated with a BSc Honours Nutrition & Dietetics in 2002 from Kings College London University. I started working as a dietitian in London for the NHS from 2002 and my clinical case load since then had always involved critical care, HDU & CCU in the mix. It took me a while to decide what to specialise in but in the end I realised my passion was in aggressive nutrition support. Being acknowledged as an integral member of the MDT, every day is different and challenging and the visible impact I made via nutrition in the ICU setting. After 6 years working in London I applied and was successful in getting my ‘dream job’ at the time dedicated purely to critical care dietetics at CUH. This also coincided with some other big life changes of getting married and moving, none which I’ve regretted since!
Carmen - Specialist critical care dietitian
I chose to work at CUH because it is an internationally renowned teaching hospital, that is famous for its research, which I’m passionate about, and I knew that it would provide me a vast range of opportunities to further my Dietetic career. I’m proud to say that I work in the critical care units here, which have excellent Multidisciplinary Teams with outstanding reputations.
One of the best parts of my job is being able to use the knowledge and skills that I’ve developed as a dietitian to be able to manage the complex nutrition issues seen in critically ill patients.
Seeing patients through their critical care journey and watching them improve medically as a result of the multidisciplinary management of them is extremely rewarding and I’m very proud to be a part of this.