Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
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Lottie Dunk - Dietitian

Lottie is a General Acute Dietitian whose role is to ensure patients meet their nutritional needs whilst in hospital. Lottie works in a rotational post and is currently covering the stroke wards.

Lottie commenced employment with Portsmouth Hospitals in January 2016 and loves the unique buzz the hospital has, the friendly atmosphere and how she is made to feel like a valued member of the team. She describes the team work with her colleagues and the wider team at PHT effortless and natural which all leads to great patient centred care. Lottie expressed how much she enjoys her job, goes home every day with a great sense of job satisfaction and would recommend working at the Hospital to anyone!

The role of a Dietitian is so varied that not one day is typically the same. Lottie will come into the office in the morning, pull the notes of patients she needs to see that day (after making a cup of coffee - of course), checks their blood results and whether they are still in hospital before going to assess them on the wards. If the patient has gone home she will look to arrange a follow up appointment if required. She can also be conducting training sessions, seeing patients in an outpatient clinic and mentoring students from Surrey University. Lottie looks after many patients with various problems such as IBS, coeliac disease, weight management, diabetes and those requiring tube feeding; all who need different nutritional support. As Queen Alexandra is such a busy hospital, Lottie describes the sheer volume of patients she sees on a day to day basis as one of the challenges she is faced with. However, the support she receives from colleagues contributes to achieving the day’s tasks – team working is a must!

To become a Dietitian you need a Dietetics degree and depending on the university this can either be a 3 or 4 year course. Lottie’s advice to anyone interested in becoming a Dietitian is to do your research! Dietitians can work with some very poorly patients which is not always easy to deal with. However, Lottie describes her job as extremely rewarding when she gets to see her patients progress. A dietetics degree can open the door to many varied career opportunities.

Working at Queen Alexandra Hospital has given Lottie great opportunities to develop her career as a Dietitian in the NHS. Lottie is able to attend study days to continue her professional development all with the support and encouragement from her manager, Denise Thomas – Head of Nutrition and Dietetics.



Diane Mason - Advanced Ultrasound Practitioner

Diane works as a sonographer (advanced practitioner) in the Ultrasound Department, within Diagnostic imaging at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH). Diane has been in this post since approximately 1990, but has been scanning a little longer.

Diane's role is to independently undertake and report on ultrasound scans of the abdominal organs, female pelvic structures and throughout all stages of pregnancy.

Her day can vary throughout the week within QAH and also works at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust community sites. Diane can be working one morning scanning in the Early pregnancy assessment unit before the patients are seen by a nurse practitioner and in the afternoon scanning older patients as part of a “ one stop “ outpatient clinic.

Diane meets the patients and introduces herself and anyone working with her, she will then explain what will happen during the scan. Diane may review notes or previous reports then undertake the scan. She will explain to the patient what happens next in the clinic, explain how they will get their results and discuss the scan findings with the patient if it is appropriate.

Diane finds her job generally very interesting and enjoys working with people, however time pressures and, on occasions, breaking bad news can be the more challenging part of her day.

Most Sonographers have trained as radiographers first and have worked in that field for several years before they begin training to specialise in ultrasound. However in recent years it is possible for trainee sonographers to come from other health professional groups and for them to have much less post graduate experience. The ultrasound training is a 2 year post graduate diploma in ultrasound which can then lead onto MSc. Sonographers should enjoy working with people, thinking critically and taking individual responsibility but also be able to work well in a team.

Diane likes working at QAH as it is a busy general hospital which provides varied work which is developing all the time and therefore would recommend it as a place to work.


Kirsty Williams - Physiotherapist

Kirsty is a Band 5 Rotational Physiotherapist, currently on Orthopaedic rotation. Kirsty commenced employment with Portsmouth Hospitals in September 2015.

As a physiotherapist, Kirsty's role involves assessing a patient's strength and function mainly with post-traumatic injuries/fractures (in Orthopaedic rotation) but also some medically unwell patient's, this assessment allows her to decide the patient's appropriate ability to transfer and mobilise on the ward; using a variety of different equipment, with the aim to improve this where possible working towards achieving their baseline mobility ready for discharge

A typical working day for Kirsty within a multidisciplinary team is to discuss and decide treatment plans and decide if the patient is safe for discharge from hospital. This involves discussing a variety of discharge options for each patient, occasionally with the involvement of family, friends and nursing or rest homes. During the patient's time in hospital Kirsty will think about onward referrals for different services to help with discharge or following discharge. 

Kirsty can often face challenges day to day such as; discharge planning, difficulties with patients not wanting to participate for a variety of reasons, unwell patients, weight-bearing status post certain operations/conservative managed fractures, prioritisation of patients and level of assistance required to help the patients

For Kirsty to become a chartered physiotherapist, she studied physiotherapy at university and obtained a bachelor of science degree with honours. 

There are many opportunities for Kirsty to develop her career within the Trust such as regular training, continued professional development and experiences with senior members of staff. Having a rotational physiotherapy role enables Kirsty to work in all areas of physiotherapy to find out which area she would like to specialise in. The Trust enables Kirsty to develop her skills in a number of ways including, doing (practice), being taught (training sessions), e-learning (self-learning), written (CPD reflections) and discussions (complex patients, supervisions) all of these help Kirsty to see her areas of strength and weakness to enable her to develop into a better physiotherapist. 

When asking Kirsty what she likes most about working at Queen Alexandra Hospital she answered, with a large influx of patients daily, they get a huge variety of patients into the hospital all with different levels of independence, mobility, conditions, operations, motivation. Every day is different but the variety of patients makes her job challenging. These decisions are made easier and always patient-centred with being able to approach and discuss with the  multidisciplinary team members throughout the hospital/wards who are always willing to help.

Kelly Meaden - Diagnostic Radiographer

Kelly is a Diagnostic Radiographer who commenced employment with the Trust June 2015. As a Diagnostic Radiographer Kelly performs x-rays within a variety of locations and situations. From plain film for the Emergency Department, inpatients and outpatients, mobile x-rays on the wards, x-rays in theatre, fluoroscopy and ERCP. Kelly is responsible for facilitating in the support and teaching of student radiographers that enter the Trust and responsible in maintaining an efficient working environment, and providing a high quality of care for her patients by working within a team, as well as independently. Kelly's job role consists of providing 24 hour care, seven days a week, with nightly duties included. 

As a Radiographer Kelly enjoys the fact that she can be x-raying in different locations. She also enjoys that each case is individual, unique and sometimes challenging, meaning that you need to specialise the care provided to each individual seen. Kelly loves being able to work independently as well as within a team and most of all, she loves that with each patient, she has a short period of time to build a rapport. Some procedures are very quick, meaning building a relationship with your patient quickly is key- especially when you need to position them awkwardly or when they are in a lot pain. Kelly said that her job is definitely made better when a good rapport is built and by knowing she has made a patients day that little bit better.

There is no typical work day at work for Kelly as every day is different due to the shifts and the different types of x-rays they provide, although Kelly will often get repetitive views such as Chest x-rays and Abdomens, she says you never know how the patient will present and what challenges she will face.

To become a Radiographer you need to study a BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography Degree. Kelly explains that there are many opportunities to develop your career within the Trust: there are many areas to develop your role in Radiography. With plain film you can take on different levels of responsibilities such as pain clinic, admin etc, study to be a reporting Radiographer in the appendicular skeleton or Gastro imaging, or you can work your way up the bands. In addition you can move on to other methods of diagnostic imaging such as:- Ultrasound; CT; MRI; Nuclear Medicine; Mammography etc, however specialisation or development often occurs after gaining a substantial amount of experience as a plain film diagnostic radiographer.

When Kelly was asked what she likes most about working at the Trust she answers; I like the patients, the environment, staff and the quality of equipment she uses - we are fortunate enough to work with here at QA.

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