14 February 2022
The Health Services Directorate welcomes Sarah-Jane Mattinson who arrived with her husband, Richard, in January to take up the post of Dietitian on St Helena. Dietitians are employed to work in hospitals and out in the community to translate scientific jargon into easy to understand dietary advice to help people make positive food and lifestyle choices. Sarah-Jane is currently based at the General Hospital in Jamestown.
A Registered Dietitian, Sarah-Jane, completed a four-year Bachelor of Science degree at Coventry University, UK as a mature student from 2007 – 2011, gaining an upper 2:1 honours with her dissertation researching Child Nurses perception of a Child Size Portion. Since graduation she has worked for Oxford University Foundation Trust, gaining experience in many areas of dietetics including malnutrition, gastroenterology, oncology, kidney disease and has spent six years with the intestinal failure team headed by Dr Phil Allan.
“I have been welcomed so warmly by all the Saints I have met so far, this beautiful island already feels like home! I can’t wait to know more about island life, learn about the Saint’s diet and work alongside our communities, businesses and health teams to help achieve a healthier future for St Helena.”
In preparation to start this exciting role on St Helena, Sarah-Jane has updated her knowledge of diabetes, the dietary measures that can help improve blood sugar control and how to minimise the risk of developing serious problems with kidneys, heart or vision. Initially, she will be aiming to set up weight management services and special group education sessions for people living with type 2 diabetes.
In addition Sarah-Jane will work alongside the School Nurses helping to educate families and children about the importance of a healthy diet and weight in younger years.
There will also be the opportunity for one-to-one clinic appointments for those who need specialised advice for other conditions such as stomach or bowel problems, under nutrition and complex dietary needs.
The Health Services Directorate anticipate lots of interest from the public, as it has been a few years since our last Dietitian, Gina, left the Island. We are all working as quickly as possible to roll out the new groups and appointments.
14 February 2022