Meet the Food First Team

The Food First Team

The Food First project is a team of 11 made up of Registered Dietitians, Dietetic Support Workers, Dietetic Assistant Practitioners and a Data Analyst.

Registered Dietitians

Registered Dietitians (RDs) are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual and wider public health level. The Food First Team provides monthly contact with our care homes and offer individual dietary support for residents who have been referred to our service. Our Dietitians also offer training and conduct 6 monthly audits to ensure care homes are meeting the expectations of the ‘Food First Care Home Award’.

Our Dietetic Assistant Practitioners and Support Workers deliver training to care home staff, carry out the audits within care homes and support individual residents under the supervision and guidance of a Registered Dietitian.

Francesca Brown – Senior Specialist Dietitian
Catherine Blanchard – Dietitian
Gillian Dall – Dietetic Support Worker
Richard Hull – Data Analyst
Rhianydd Jones – Dietetic Assistant Practitioner
Vittoria Romano – Project Team Lead
Emma Stoneman – Clinical Service Manager
Geneva Thomas – Dietetic Assistant Practitioner
Jayne Wells – Dietitian
Sarah Wocka – Senior Specialist Paediatric Dietitian

Francesca Brown – Senior Specialist Dietitian

Fran joined the Food First team in November 2015 as a Senior Specialist Dietitian before this Fran worked with the Clinical Community Dietetic Team. Fran graduated as Dietitian in June 2014 from Kings College London. Before her career in Dietetics, Fran was a Wedding Coordinator. Fran has a special interest in palliative care and home enteral tube feeding.

Catherine Blanchard – Dietitian

After graduating as a Dietitian from Kings Collage London, Catherine joined the Food First team in March 2015. Over the next 9 months Catherine developed a strong interest in prescribing support, so much so that in December 2016, with the support of the team she became the allocated Dietitian for work carried out in Hertfordshire Valley. Outside of work Catherine enjoys supporting Stevenage Football Club.

Gillian Dall – Dietetic Support Worker

Gillian joined the Food First team in July 2015 after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a degree in Exercise Nutrition and Health. Gillian’s ambition is to become a Registered Dietitian and her current role allows her to develop and use some of the essential skills required. Gillian’s time is split between supporting the Food First team and supporting the Adult and Paediatric Home Enteral Tube Feeding (HETF) Service, both of which involve her assisting service users, their family, carers and associated health care professionals.

Richard Hull – Data Analyst

Richard joined the Food First team in October 2016. As the team’s data analyst Richard regularly monitors and analyses local prescribing data and supports the team to evaluate the service. This helps to support the team to focus their resources and monitor the projects outcomes, ensuring that we provide the optimum service.

Rhianydd Jones – Dietetic Assistant Practitioner

Rhianydd joined the Food First team as a Dietetic Assistant Practitioner in November 2015, after gaining a degree in Biomedical Science, followed by a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition. Rhianydd’s time is divided between working in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Valley, delivering training to care homes and community groups, carrying audits, developing resources and supporting the Food First Dietitians. In her spare time, Rhianydd swims competitively for her local swimming club and also competes countywide in open water swimming.

Vittoria Romano – Project Team Lead

Vittoria has been working for the Food First Project since September 2011, starting as one of our frontline Dietitians and now as our team lead. Vittoria is passionate about empowering all to deliver high quality nutritional care, so that nutrition and hydration is always a priority. Vittoria enjoys collaborating with colleagues in commissioning and primary care to improve the prescribing of nutritional products and ensure there are safe, effective and meets the person’s needs. Vittoria is also currently studying for a Masters in Advanced Dietetic Practice at the University of Hertfordshire and is Secretary for the Prescribing Support Dietitians Sub-Group, part of the British Dietetic Association.

Emma Stoneman – Clinical Service Manager

Emma joined the Food First team as their Service Manager in January 2016. Emma is a Podiatrist by background and also the Locality Lead for the South Bedfordshire Podiatry team. Emma brings nearly 20 years NHS experience to the team and has shared her knowledge and passion for working innovatively to meet the changing needs of the service.

Geneva Thomas – Dietetic Assistant Practitioner

Geneva joined the Food First team in March 2016 as one of our Dietetic Assistant Practitioners’. Geneva graduated in 2015 with a degree in Biology. Her interests lie in microbiology and nutrition and she strives to achieve a career which combines these two aspects together.

Jayne Wells – Dietitian

Following a 20-year career in Primary Care, Jayne decided on a career change and starting studying for a degree in Dietetics at the London Metropolitan University. Jayne qualified as a dietitian in 2012 and joined the Food First team in January 2013 as her first dietetic role.  Jayne has remained with the project ever since.  Jayne has a special interest in the care of older people and dementia and is currently treasurer of the Older People’s Specialist Group, part of the British Dietetic Association. In her spare time Jayne enjoys reading, crafts and aims to take an upholstery course in the near future.

Sarah Wocka – Senior Specialist Paediatric Dietitian

Sarah has worked as a community paediatric/public health Dietitian since 2008. Sarah has vast dietetic experience, working in a wide range of settings including community clinics, nurseries, schools and on the paediatric wards at The Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

Sarah joined the Food First team in October 2016 as a Senior Specialist Paediatric Dietitian, providing support and expertise in the prescribing of specialist infant formulas. Sarah’s role also includes completing audits of GP prescribing practise, providing other professionals with training to enable them to appropriately respond to common paediatric queries, and ensuring that the infant formula guidelines are current and regularly updated.