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Meet The Practice Team

Meet The Practice Team, Sophie Fox

Name: Sophie Fox

Role at Combe Grove: Member of Nutrition Team

Qualifications: MSc in Sport and Exercise Nutrition, British Dietetic membership registered through the SENr.

How did your interest in metabolic health begin and why? What encouraged this interest?

My interest in metabolic health began when working on the acute Stroke Unit at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in 2018. Here, I spent time rehabilitating patients who had suffered lifechanging complications following a stroke including difficulty eating, walking and speaking. Poor metabolic health is a risk factor for stroke and taking steps to address this at an early stage may significantly reduce this risk. My time on the Stroke Unit led to a decision to support individuals to take a proactive approach to good metabolic health through modifying their nutrition, as well as increasing exercise and improving sleep.

 What do you believe is the most important aspect of metabolic health and why? 

When trying to improve your metabolic health, it is important to understand your motivation for doing this. Achieving better metabolic health may enable you to have more energy, fewer aches and pains, and even reverse a prediabetes diagnosis, amongst many other benefits. How might these things positively impact your life? Visualising a positive future can be a powerful driver to help you make a lasting change.

 What are your experiences with metabolic health or prediabetes?

In addition to my work in acute healthcare, I have also worked in primary care supporting individuals with prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure to make small, manageable changes to their lifestyle.

 Share an interesting fact about you?

I love sport and have a lot of experience in supporting high-level athletes in their nutrition and health journey. Some of my most exciting work has been with Team GB para athletes and the Cambridge University men’s and women’s rowing teams ahead of the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race 2021.

 What advice can you give for those starting their metabolic health journey?

Take it one step at a time! It can be tempting to try to overhaul your entire lifestyle in pursuit of better health but taking on too much can feel overwhelming. Choose one or two small areas to focus on first. Once you have mastered these areas, you can move on to a something new.

Meet The Practice Team, Sue Judge

Name: Sue Judge

Role at Combe Grove: Member of Nutrition Team

Qualifications: Diploma Naturopathic Nutrition Collage of Naturopathic Nutrition CNM

How did your interest in metabolic health begin and why? What encouraged this interest?

Good metabolic health underpins good health therefore is relevant to everyone  no matter what condition you are looking at.

What do you believe is the most important aspect of metabolic health and why? 

For most people understanding what the body does with the food we put in to it is a game changer. We then work  to incorporate that in to their lives by making realistic changes

What are your experiences with metabolic health or prediabetes?

Supporting clients metabolic health over the years has helped them reduce anxiety, reduce weight, lower inflammation with conditions such as arthritis, skin problems, have more energy and leave them feeling that they have more control over how they feel.

Share an interesting fact about you?

Currently a foundation year student with The Natural Academy studying Eco Psychology.

What advice can you give for those starting their metabolic health journey?

Start by identifying where you are consuming sugar in your diet, read food labels, keep a journal and note how certain foods make you feel, then look at changing one thing at a time, so breakfast is a good place to start.

Name: Sarah Forde

Role at Combe Grove: Practice Manager

Qualifications: BSc in Engineering Mathematics & Masters in Business Administration.   My career has spanned the not-for-profit, public and commercial sectors initially in client-facing roles and subsequently in general management.   I spent many years working with organisations providing services to people with visual and hearing impairments and then ten years as a Practice Manager of a large GP practice.

How did your interest in metabolic health begin and why? What encouraged this interest?

In truth, and probably in common with the majority of people, I had not heard the term metabolic health until I joined Combe Grove.  I have been fascinated to work with our team and medical advisors to learn more about this very important area of medical understanding and to realise the influence it has on so many common long-term health conditions and the myriad of ways in which it can be improved by lifestyle changes.

What do you believe is the most important aspect of metabolic health and why?

The knowledge that we can, with advice and the right mindset, be empowered to influence our own metabolic health.

What are your experiences with metabolic health or prediabetes?

As the manager of a GP practice, I was acutely aware of the number of our patients who had Type 2 diabetes and the impact of this condition on their overall health and quality of life.  As the NHS started to identify patients with prediabetes, the escalating incidence of Type 2 diabetes became more and more apparent; this brought with it incredible concern for each affected individual and recognition of the enormous challenge the NHS would face in meeting their future needs.

Share an interesting fact about you?

My work, and friendships, with people with sensory impairments enabled me to learn how to communicate using deafblind manual alphabet and to read and write braille.  Moreover, it taught me how enlightening it can be to spend time with people who experience the world in a different way to you.

What advice can you give to those starting their metabolic health journey?

Enjoy discovering new things about yourself and the many small ways you can improve your lifestyle and health whilst still having fun!   Be kind to yourself and remember that change is not always easy, but always possible.

Meet The Practice Team, Ruth Gretton

Name: Ruth Gretton

Role at Combe Grove: Practice Manager

Qualifications: I have over 40 years’ experience of working in healthcare as a Registered Nurse, qualified to BSc level. Although I am not working as a Registered Nurse in this role, I still have active registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

How did your interest in metabolic health begin and why? What encouraged this interest?

Throughout much of my nursing career I have cared for people in hospital affected with chronic ill health and the consequences of that. During the second half of my career the notion of ‘health promotion’ began to be introduced within health care; that is, people can proactively make changes to their lifestyles that have a positive impact on their health. Since joining the team at Combe Grove I have began to learn more about metabolic health and how by improving your metabolic health you can improve many other conditions.

What do you believe is the most important aspect of metabolic health and why? 

Helping people to understand that they personally have the power to influence their own metabolic health if they have the motivation. So, I believe mindset and motivation are the biggest influencers.

What are your experiences with metabolic health or prediabetes?

As a nurse, caring for people who are experiencing cardiovascular conditions, stroke and the complications of prediabetes and seeing the impact these conditions have on people, their families, and their lifestyle

Share an interesting fact about you?

I loved hockey when I was at school and played for the local and County ladies’ teams as a goalkeeper. When I started my nurse training, I had to give this up as student nurses were required to work most weekends.

What advice can you give for those starting their metabolic health journey?

Take one step at a time, set realistic, small goals, and build on your success.