Nutrition management for Covid-19 patients and healthcare professionals

For Kim Spickett (PGCert Web Design and Development 2010), her work as a Creative Director is always full of variety. She specialises mainly in medical nutrition and is an active member of her local community, passionate about lobbying for cleaner waterways.  

This year, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit there was the anticipation that potentially large numbers of vulnerable individuals would require dietary advice and oral nutrition support if they contracted the virus. Kim worked alongside an innovate, multidisciplinary team, leading on the rapid development of an interactive resource finder. The platform guided healthcare professionals, care homes and patients to the most appropriate nutritional resources and advice based on COVID-19 symptoms known to interfere with eating and drinking, appetite, nutritional risk and accounting for pre-existing conditions.

Their work was highly commended by British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) and was considered to be one of the standout service improvements and innovations that have taken place across the country during the most challenging period in the history of the NHS. “I was honoured to be able to help such a highly skilled team of healthcare professionals. As a bonus, they are absolutely lovely to work with.”

Kim considers her time at Birkbeck studying for a PG Certificate in Web design and development to have played a significant part in her career. In 2007 Kim’s business was hit badly by the recession and she faced some deeply personal challenges as her daughter became ill and her mother passed away suddenly. She was inspired by the encouragement her parents had always given her around her education and decided it was time to think about what she did next

‘After all this happened, I decided that once you are on the floor there really is no further you can fall – time to think about where to go once you feel able to get up again! A client, and Birkbeck enthusiast, threw a prospectus at me – literally! My tutors were interesting, encouraging and kind. I couldn’t wait for Saturday to come around again. The train journey home was spent digging into my next assignment and exchanging emails with fellow students – we were all so fired up. That enthusiasm has never left me.’