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“Sheffield Children’s is like no other hospital I have ever worked at.”

“Sheffield Children’s is like no other hospital I have ever worked at.”

Eleanor Tidswell – Specialist Renal Dietitian
Dietitian in clinic

Eleanor first started at Sheffield Children’s in June 2016 as a Paediatric Dietitian and in 2020 she secured a newly-created Renal Dietetic post. She now has a split role which she seems to enjoy.

She said: “Gosh my time at Sheffield Children’s Hospital has flown by! I’ve loved my time here but feel especially fortunate to get the new Renal Dietetic position. I’ve loved every minute of designing this new service as well as forming a renal team together with the Consultant and Renal Nurse Specialist.

“As well as my renal work I hold one of the rotational dietetic posts which is lovely as it gives you experience in lots of different areas. It’s also helped me meet more of my colleagues and children who attend regularly; I love getting to know everyone!”

As part of their service, the Dietetics team care for patients by helping them select the best foods to eat for the different health conditions or giving advice on tube feeding if this is required. When a child has kidney disease dietitians particularly consider a patient’s energy, protein and fluid intake as well their consumption of salt. Sometimes advice about foods that contain potassium and phosphate is also required.

Eleanor’s first steps into her dietetic career were spent working in a community setting elsewhere in Yorkshire, and in other Trusts before joining Sheffield Children’s – “I’ve always wanted to work in paediatrics so when the job came up here there was no hesitation in my mind!”

Eleanor added: “Sheffield Children’s is like no other hospital I have ever worked at; it offers some really specialist services but it feels small enough that you really get to know everyone. This gives a lovely community feel to the Trust for staff and for patients.”

COVID-19 has affected how all our services work, although they continue to provide excellent care to patients. This is no different for Eleanor, the Dietetic or Renal team.

She said: “We have worked more remotely during COVID-19. This means some of my clinics are now done over the phone or by video rather than face-to-face. I have asked patients and their parents and carers about what worked well and what hasn’t worked well with this new way of working. I am now trying to incorporate the good parts into the longer-term Renal Dietetic Service.”

Since arriving at Sheffield Children’s Eleanor has met and cared for lots of patients, and gained a range of new experiences.

“Personally, getting the opportunity to develop a new service has been really exciting. Even the challenges are met with great reward when you see the service evolving, knowing you are going to be helping a large number of families.

“I think my favourite part of my job though, has to be seeing the children who I knew were really poorly walk out of the door with smiles on their faces!” 

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