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Dieticians Help COVID-19 Patients on the Road to Recovery

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Dieticians from Edge Hill University are playing a critical role in supporting patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Julie Abayomi, Associate Head of Applied Health and Social Care, has recently been appointed Chair of the British Dietetic Association (BDA) England Board and is at the forefront of leading a team of health professionals that are giving out advice to combat nutritional problems at a public-health level.

‘It is not only our amazing doctors and nurses who support patients with COVID-19 symptoms. Dieticians are vital members of the intensive care multidisciplinary team,’ explained Dr Abayomi. ‘Particularly when patients are undergoing sedation and ventilation, they need intensive nutrition support to aid their recovery.

‘The work of our healthcare professionals in this field is more important than ever to help us fight the COVID-19 outbreak. Our work to design, prescribe and monitor feeding regimens to meet the needs of each individual patient is so important to help them get back on their feet.’

Across the UK, hundreds of dietitians are preparing to support the NHS in a variety of ways, and many who usually work outside the sector have volunteered to return to support their colleagues in clinical roles.

Edge Hill University has agreed to release health colleagues back to the NHS to support their efforts and Dr Abayomi is herself is about to return to the NHS after seven years out of a clinical setting.

She said: ‘I have always kept in contact with my colleagues working for the NHS and I know how busy they are at the best of times. This is a time of crisis and our NHS colleagues need all the help they can get, so if I am able to help then I will, and I’m so proud to see colleagues at Edge Hill University doing the same. My offer to help will enable to NHS to free up their experienced staff to deal with more urgent patients.’

The Critical Care Specialist Interest Group of the BDA has recently published guidelines on the healthy management of nutrition and dietetic services during the COVID-19 pandemic and is urging people to follow their advice.

Edge Hill University offers a range of healthcare programmes designed to support the NHS workforce, for more information visit Edge Hill University

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