Dr Denise Thomas: Head of Dietetics and Chief of Service for Clinical Support, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

When did you start in the NHS?

1979.

Why did you choose to work in the NHS?

I wanted to be a dietitian, as I was passionate about food. My career choice was first and foremost the NHS as it was a great employer offering many opportunities for registered dietitians.

Describe what you do in 100 words

I manage a team of dietitians and support staff in dietetics ensuring that our service meets demand and has appropriately trained professional staff. I have a clinical role in the management of morbid obesity (both medical and surgical). In my senior leadership role as Chief of Service, I oversee 11 clinical services which include imaging, medical physics, clinical engineering, patient administration services and dietetics. I drive the strategy for clinical services and also work together with allied health care and scientific colleagues to ensure we continuously improve our services.

How would you describe the NHS in one word?

Amazing.

If you could give the NHS any 70th birthday present what would it be?

We would all like an endless pot of money for the NHS, as record levels of service demand are well documented, but at the same time we should be proud that our NHS can now treat more illnesses than ever before with innovation and technology being amongst the best in the world.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about working in the NHS?

Be prepared to work hard, but the job offers opportunity for you to grow as a person and to develop your career.

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