Rose Simmonds Award 2017 - Winner

Profiling the winners of the Rose Simmonds Award 2017

Rose Simmonds 17 Team

Kaylee Allan & Team

Kaylee was part of a team of three alongside Helen McWilliam and Steven Taylor

Kaylee has also answered a few questions on camera - take a look to find out more about the work and how she has been biten by the research bug!

Why did you choose to enter for the Rose Simmonds Award?

We’ve entered a couple of times in previous years. Stephen has won this award before. We wanted to have our work recognised and the BDA seeks to give dietitians a platform to showcase their work.

What is your current role and organisation 

Helen McWilliam: Paediatric dietitian in Newcastle
Stephen Taylor: Research and Critical Care dietitian in Southmead Hospital Bristol
Kaylee Allan: Critical care dietitian in Southmead Hospital Bristol and part time MClinRes student at Plymouth Univeristy.

Can you provide further information on your work?

Our research was a pilot or feasibility study looking at overcoming delayed gastric emptying in critically ill patients, where the first line intervention fails. This is when a prokinetic fails and then patients were randomised into two groups, one being NG feeding with another prokinetic (erythromycin alongside Metoclopramide) or the other being the nasojej group. We measured nutritional delivery as a %, how close patients get to their target requirements, and we found that those receiving nutrition via the NJ route, hit their target nutrition much earlier than those in the NG group. In future, looking beyond the first week of critical illness would be helpful and developing the use of cortrak for NGT placements.

What does winning this award mean for your work?

It’s great to be recognised for our hard work and effort over the last few years. Research isn’t quick or easy, so having it acknowledged by the BDA is great.

How will your work progress next?

Our 3 person research team is sadly no more, Helen has moved on with her career away from Stephen and I (we don’t take offence much). Stephen continues to undertake research and is being a mentor to me whilst I study. We have on-going projects which we hope to publish.
We would like to use Cortrak to prospectively test NGT position.

Why is evidence based practice so important?

It’s important to guide practice, to use it alongside clinical judgement. Need to be able to scrutinise the evidence in front of us appropriately and be confident in the evidence when applying it, knowing the limitations of the evidence is important too.  Informing our daily clinical decision making and helps us challenge old or incorrect interventions or practices which need addressing. It keeps us moving forward, so I would argue it’s very important.

It is a difficult time for academic and clinical experts to ensure the advice to the public is evidence based – what you think dietitians and other scientific professionals can do to counter this?

Sadly with the online world, everyone is an expert and celebrity endorsement doesn’t help with spreading incorrect and unsupported “facts”. I would like to see clinical experts tackle the online issues and we need to be seen more within the wider media sphere. I have to say the BDA Critical care group are very good at this!

What advice or tips would you give to dietitians to highlight the importance of being involved in research

Research is seen as hard work and often gets forgotten or the bottom of the “to do” list. It is hard but that doesn’t mean it’s unachievable. I found working with people who had experience in  research really inspiring. Kaylee has gone on to undertake an MSc Clinical Research because of her time spent with Stephen and assisting in clinical audits and then the RCT. It’s easier if you have a good team around you. Being involved has helped dietetics raise our profile within ICU but across the trust.

What are your future career aspirations?

Stephen has plenty of projects to keep him occupied and is always seeking to improve our practice. Kaylee is undergoing a research project as part of her masters and then who knows!

What does the future hold for dietetics?

Dietetics needs to move with the times. Jobs will change alongside the pressures within the NHS. I think it’s our opportunity to up-skill in new areas. Research is an opportunity to do this, whilst raising our profile as good researchers alongside excellent practitioners.

Find out more about the Trust fund and awards