Claire has been a nutrition support nurse for 15 years. Following completion of her training at King Alfred’s College in 1998, she then moved to The Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford and commenced a rotational post through medical gastroenterology and cardiology before moving to the hepatobiliary, upper GI and colorectal surgical ward. Caring for complex surgical and gastroenterology patients is where Claire first developed an interest in nutritional care.
After 5 years Claire was asked to take up a position at Frimley Health working on the acute surgical dependency unit. Working closely with the multi-disciplinary team including the Dietitians, Claire saw the impact of nutrition in patient’s pre and post-operative care and was keen to further build on skills, knowledge and interest in the nutritional needs of her patients.
Expansion of the gastroenterology department led to the creation of a nutrition support nurse post for which Claire was successfully appointed. This new post covered the acute adult inpatient wards and quickly expanded to see Claire developing a bedside nasojejunal tube placement service, implementing NG tube standards of care, introducing the use of nasal enteral tube retaining devices as well as a nurse led gastrostomy referral and assessment service for primary and secondary care. Within the field of parenteral nutrition, Claire worked closely with the dietitians and the nutrition team to reduce complications by bringing in education and training and standards of care.
In more recent years Claire has expanded her skill set further by successfully completing her nurse endoscopy training for upper GI endoscopy. Working within the endoscopy unit has enabled Claire to use her experience within nutrition to provide timely advice and onward referral where appropriate and have a more direct role in enteral feeding tube insertion, thus enabling continuity of professional involvement from referral to insertion.
After 15 years at Frimley Health, Claire has now taken up a new post as Nutrition Nurse Lead at Guys and St Thomas’ hospital. This is a new role and service which Claire is excited to be involved with having seen the positive impact a nutrition nurse service has for an organisation and the patients accessing the service.
Claire has been involved with the NNNG for a number of years, first as a committee member then as communications officer before being elected to Chair in 2018. Involvement in the NNNG has afforded her the opportunity to work on national projects including guidelines and work streams for example, best practice guidelines, IDDSI and more recently the RCP document on oral feeding. In addition to this are the opportunities and confidence to write articles and shorter opinion pieces as well as teaching and conference presentation. Membership to the NNNG has a number of benefits one of which is the NNNG forum and opportunity to link in with colleagues for support advice and guidance invaluable and joined the group as soon as she became a nutrition nurse, something she would still advocate new starters, students and the wider MDT do.