Bianca Parau

Bianca Parau Horizon Fellow

Specialist Paediatric Dietitian

Chelsea Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Biography: Bianca is a Paediatric Dietitian with 17 years experience, who is passionate about helping children of all ages to develop a healthy attitude towards food whilst meeting their nutritional requirements to sustain optimal growth and development. After graduating from the University of the Free State, she started her career in South-Africa and since relocating to the United Kingdom, she has worked at various NHS hospitals as well as private health care centres across the country. In her current NHS clinical role at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, she is the dietetic lead for the Paediatric Endocrine service.

Bianca closely works with healthcare professionals to provide multidisciplinary evidenced based treatment. In addition to her current NHS post, she has a private practice and she does consultancy work. Bianca is registered with the HPC-UK and is a full member of the British Dietetic Association.

Horizon Fellowship project summary: Obesity amongst children has been found to be associated with emotional and behavioral difficulties, bullying, health co-morbidities and an increased risk of becoming overweight adults. The aim of the project is to treat more patients effectively with limited resources, whilst empowering patients and reducing the overall burden on the NHS due to avoidable comorbidities associated with overweight and obesity, and for Type 2 diabetics, reversal of their condition through diet and lifestyle modifications.

Another aim of the project is to build on the foundations of a pilot group session project that briefly existed in the department, to allow more intense intervention which targets dietary and sedentary behaviours of children to promote lasting changes. Bianca envisions a journey with education points, support materials and activities with the additional help of an app or digital platform.

Estimated number of patients / staff impacted by the project: The Paediatric Dietetic Department (consisting of eight dietitians), the wider Paediatric services in the hospital and local GP’s. Additionally, the current weight management patient caseload (+/- 100+ patients) in addition to the six to eight new referrals per week.

Goal(s) for time on the Horizon Fellowship programme: As a Band 7 Specialist Paediatric dietitian, Bianca is always interested to see how processes can be improved in the department – for the team, as well as patients. Her main goal is to optimise usage of the team’s resources in response to the constant increasing demand, which will ultimately lead to better patient care and outcomes and better staff satisfaction and retention.