Charity funds special dietician for Sheffield hospital

Dietician Ellie Tidswell, with  Dr Frank Edenborough, left, and housekeeper Marie Croft
Dietician Ellie Tidswell, with Dr Frank Edenborough, left, and housekeeper Marie Croft

A new charity funded dietician has started work with cystic fibrosis patients to tailor the food that they eat so that it matches their specific needs.

Ellie Tidswell is working with patients on the CF Unit at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital to help deliver the high calorie food they need, whilst ensuring it meets their nutritional requirements and is as appetising as possible.

Money was raised to pay for a dietician for two years; half was contributed by an individual donor and the rest came from fundraising activities supported by the Sheffield Hospitals Charity.

Cystic Fibrosis consultant Dr Frank Edenborough said: “CF clogs the lungs and digestive system. As the disease progresses, it takes sufferers more and more energy just to breathe. Getting enough calories as well as the right nutrition is crucial in maintaining weight and their overall health.”

CF sufferers need a diet high in fat, calories and salt, which can be a challenge when other hospital patients are being encouraged to eat the opposite of this. They often lose their appetite and interest in eating when they are unwell which raises even more of a nutritional challenge.

Ellie said: “The young people I work with are in and out of hospital all of their lives.

“It is vitally important they maintain a healthy weight and I hope we will be able to help patients practically achieve this and provide a role model for what they should be doing at home.

“It is my passion to make their meals more fun and appetising so they get greater enjoyment in reaching their target weights.”

Ellie is now liaising with patients on the ward about what they would like to help structure her work over the next two years.