04 Nov 2021
Rhys White, Acting Head of Nutrition and Dietetics at Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, was awarded an Ibex in 2021, which is an honour for Professional Achievement.
We caught up with Rhys to find out about what it means to have been awarded, why he became a dietitian and his advice for future dietitians.
What does it mean to you to have been awarded an Ibex?
It is a great honour to be awarded an Ibex to recognise my contribution to the BDA specialist groups. I found the work on the Oncology Specialist Group and PENG clinical update course extremely rewarding and learned so much from both roles, as well as feeling that I’ve contributed to advancing the profession as a whole in these specialties.
What drove you to become a dietitian in the first place and be where you are today?
My interest in nutrition started through playing sport and as I found out more about the role of a dietitian, I realised this was the career for me.
I always expected that I would go into sports nutrition at some point but once in clinical practice and now management my focus and aspirations changed.
Who would you say inspires you both dietetically but also non-dietetically?
There are always those key people in your career that you know without them you wouldn’t have the success and opportunities that you have, they help shape your career. For me those key individuals are Karen Hughes, Cheryl McKenzie, Clare Soulsby, Alison Culkin and Rachael Strauss. The Oncology Specialist Group Committee and the PENG clinical update tutors have also inspired me and I’m proud of what both groups have achieved and are still achieving. Non-dietetically my inspiration comes from my wife and children.
What advice would you give to future dietitians?
Work hard and take your opportunities. I never set out aiming for the roles I’ve undertaken the opportunities arose and I went for them. Also ensure you have mentors that can support you with creating and finding these opportunities and being successful with them. I would also recommend applying for committee roles on BDA specialist groups or branches, you can learn a lot from these, establish new networks and great friends.
What has been the highlight of your dietetic career to date?
There are many but probably two stand out the most. First completing an MRES in Clinical Practice which I thoroughly enjoyed and finally managing to get my research project, undertaken as part of the course, published four years later!
Secondly, it’s the business planning success I’ve had at Guy's and St Thomas’ where I’ve been able to establish new dietetic and nutrition nurse posts over several years and see the impact that these have on patient care and safety.