We are a large Department of over 80 staff encompassing HCPC Registered Dietitians, Dietetic Assistants and Admin staff. We cover acute services to Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie Maternity Hospital primarily.
My name is Anouska ‘Noush’ Baker and I am an Advanced specialist Critical Care & Trauma dietitian, working at CUH since 2008.
When I first started at CUH we were only a department of 35 dietitians, now we have grown to ~90 dietitians which has included the expansion of the critical care dietetic team. I am proud of the fact that we are professional yet friendly, sociable, supportive bunch and give 100% to be ‘safe, kind and excellent’ especially during the pandemic. Personally I am proud that this past year I passed my Mary Seacole leadership course, had the opportunity to be mentored by Chief Nurse Lorraine Szeremata, have been part of national working groups for BDA CCSG (Critical care specialist group) and helped produce and deliver national dietetic outcomes audit tool and also post ICU nutrition information for ICU steps website. I was successful in the application of the Greenshoots award 2020/22, which will support me to develop as a new primary investigator, take forward research in ICU dietetics within the dietetic department and also further raise the profile of dietetic research within CUH while supporting the EFFORT trial.
As a critical care dietitian I work alongside and lead the critical care dietetic team and work with an amazing critical care MDT to deliver the best possible evidenced based nutritional care to patients in intensive care, to support their recovery and ensure that we continue to develop our service.
In addition to my clinical role, I am also involved in teaching and lecturing, attending relevant meetings within the Trust and nationally to network and represent CUH critical care dietetics, develop & produce guidelines, protocols and patient literature, take part in regular audit, service evaluation and research, take part in national working groups and also presenting at relevant study days/conferences. I am involved in student training and also a preceptor, keyworker and mentor to our Band 5 dietitians.
I chose to become a Dietitian as my passion for food, cooking and the impact it has on our physical and mental well being stemmed from my childhood. I grew up with parents who are amazing cooks and experiencing many culinary delights at a young age thanks to my Mauritian roots. Also I excelled at home economics at school as well as the sciences. ‘Dietitian’ came in the top 5 of my careers choice from my career advisor and spent my work experience shadowing dietitians in my local community.
I graduated with a BSc Honours Nutrition & Dietetics in 2002 from Kings College London University. I started working as a dietitian in London for the NHS from 2002 and my clinical case load since then had always involved critical care, HDU & CCU in the mix. It took me a while to decide what to specialise in but in the end I realised my passion was in aggressive nutrition support. Being acknowledged as an integral member of the MDT, every day is different and challenging and the visible impact I made via nutrition in the ICU setting. After 6 years working in London I applied and was successful in getting my ‘dream job’ at the time dedicated purely to critical care dietetics at CUH. This also coincided with some other big life changes of getting married and moving, none which I’ve regretted since!
I decided to become a dietitian because I’m enthusiastic about food and the science of nutrition, and I wanted to be able to work with people, so using nutrition knowledge to help patients first-hand seemed perfect for me!
I chose to work at CUH because it is an internationally renowned teaching hospital, that is famous for its research, which I’m passionate about, and I knew that it would provide me a vast range of opportunities to further my Dietetic career. I’m proud to say that I work in the critical care units here, which have excellent Multidisciplinary Teams with outstanding reputations.
One of the best parts of my job is being able to use the knowledge and skills that I’ve developed as a dietitian to be able to manage the complex nutrition issues seen in critically ill patients.
Seeing patients through their critical care journey and watching them improve medically as a result of the multidisciplinary management of them is extremely rewarding and I’m very proud to be a part of this.