Posted on: 3 June 2020

At the start of the crisis St Pancras Rehabilitation Unit extended one of their wards to care for people with Covid19, Evergreen ward was also opened as a step down facility for people prior to discharge.

During this time, the dietitians' caseload more than tripled with the team treating people with, for example, malnutrition, diabetes, renal dialysis and artificial nutrition (tube feeds).

Sumaiya.JPGSumaiya Wadiwala was one of three dietitians redeployed there at the height of the pandemic.

The photo shows her with a carrot cake she baked as part of a farewell party prior to returning to her previous role.

She writes: "I am a community paediatric dietitian and was redeployed to the adult inpatient service at St Pancras Hospital where I worked both as a Health Care Assistant and a dietitian for these patients.  Coming from children’s community services, this was definitely outside my comfort zone - but it is amazing how quickly it all started to feel familiar.  I have gotten to know so many incredible members of staff, many who were also redeployed and we helped and supported each other - Thank you! 

“This redeployment has not been without its challenges, but overall it has been a positive and rewarding inexperience and I have learned so much.  I am grateful that I was able to contribute towards this pandemic in some way, and although I am looking forward to going back to my role, I will miss my work family here.Oakwood Ward.jpg

“This experience goes to show health professionals have transferable skills, are quick to adapt and learn new skills to fit emerging NHS needs: We all have one common goal, and this is patient care."

Dr Jane Wilson is a Specialist Rehabilitation/Community Nutrition Support Dietitian at St Pancras Hospital South Wing.

She said: “Our redeployed dietetic colleagues joined us at a time when we really needed them. As an instant team we worked together to continue deliver safe and effective nutritional interventions to the St Pancras Rehabilitation Unit patients.

“Despite not having the time to plan ahead we have supported each other. Although working during a pandemic has its stresses, it has been a good time for our team.”

She wrote a letter of thanks to the three Camden dietitians who joined the team, Sumaiya Wadiwala, Krishna Patel and Katie Hacker.

“Dear Sumaiya, Krishna and Katie,

“During Dietitians' Week I wanted to take some time to say a huge thank you for your work at St Pancras Rehabilitation Unit during the Covid19 outbreak. Our caseload has been up to three times its usual size and there has been additional work to promptly manage all the referrals and discharges to ensure that we are providing a safe and effective service.

“You have been so flexible, coming from children's and diabetes services, having to learn new systems and the dietetic approaches for the range of conditions that we manage on the wards. You have been very fast learners!

“Thank you also for your endless good humour, your patience, the really caring way that you have treated the patients and your incredible capacity for hard work.

“Thanks ladies, you have been great.