Health Heroes: Food is the backbone of a healthy organisation

Westmead Hospital food services staff remind people to stay at home.

It has been heart-warming to see people united in extending gratitude and appreciation to the frontline medical staff battling COVID-19. 

Doctors and nurses are getting a well-deserved recognition for their selfless work, but the number of people working tirelessly for our well-being is greater than it might seem at first sight.

Another team of health professionals who keep coming to work to ensure hospital operations run smoothly and all patients are taken care of is the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics.

This team is responsible for medical nutrition therapy in the hospital, and they work very closely with Food Services providing special meals to patients. 

Ashwini Chand, deputy head of Nutrition and Dietetics at Westmead Hospital, said clinical dietitians, supervisors and support staff are around to make this happen every day.

“We cannot work from home as we have to be here to take care of our patients every day, Monday to Sunday,” Ashwini said.

“While we always follow good personal hygiene requirements, we are finding that handwashing has become more critical in reducing the spread of COVID-19. We are now getting used to maintaining a distance of 1.5m in the department and outside the department. 

“To keep everyone safe, especially those vulnerable, we are providing online consultancy services. Patients are continued to be supported by phone, and for those we need to see face to face, we are continuing to do so.”

When asked to share some words of support to fellow health workers, Ashwini expressed her gratitude to everyone who keeps coming to work every day. 

“This pandemic will pass but we will support each and every one while it lasts!” she said.​

Visit the NSW Health website for the latest info on covid-19​