After having had my children, I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 2006 with my first post being on an Oncology and Haematology ward in Basingstoke, Hampshire. I quickly found that the palliative care side of the role was where my passion sat and was able to develop this further when moving on to work as a Community Nurse and embrace the Palliative Link Nurse role in 2008.
My career within Community Nursing continued and progressed allowing me to become Sister of a team in 2009 in Alton, Hampshire. With my passion for palliative care continuing I had the opportunity to carry out a years Secondment between 2010 and 2011 which encompassed working on the In-patient unit at St Michael’s Hospice, Basingstoke for 6 months and within their Macmillan Cancer Care Team for 6 months, visiting and supporting patients within their own homes.
In 2011 I moved to Worcester and continued my career of Community Nursing with the Worcestershire Health and Care Trust. Alongside the community role I had the opportunity in 2013 to work as Project Lead Nurse in the Worcester Royal Hospital with the intention of supporting Education and Learning around the Pilot of the Amber Care Bundle, a tool designed to support advance care planning for patients approaching the end of life.
In 2014 I was successfully shortlisted and chosen from my Community Nursing Team to complete a developmental Secondment to complete my Specialist Community District Nurse Practitioner Degree at Wolverhampton University. Following the attainment of a First-Class Honours Degree in the subject I was fortunate enough to be offered a Band 7 Cluster Lead post in Worcester City, managing three District Nursing Teams under my Portfolio.
In 2016 I was pleased to be able to progress my career further and commenced as the 8a Integrated Community Services Lead in Malvern, operationally managing Community Nurses, Occupational Health Therapists, Physiotherapists as well as the Older Adult Mental Health Services. My portfolio continued to grow and the Worcestershire Out of Hours Nursing Service also moved under my remit. Alongside the operational management, a great deal of project work was involved to support the Integration of the Community Services to create the Neighbourhood Teams we have today.
As my experience of Community Services had developed over recent years, I had become more and more interested in being able to understand the commissioning side of service provision and in 2018 became a Clinical Lead within the South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. Although the experience gained within this role was invaluable, I soon realised that the money management end of services was not for me. However, with an increased insight into the operational and strategic management of services and with the passion for Palliative Care at the heart of my nursing career I was very quickly drawn to the opportunity to become Head of Education and Learning at St Richard’s Hospice in June 2019.
With my own career that has been constantly moving, developing and evolving, education and learning has always been a key, fundamental factor that drives that development. I feel greatly honoured to have been given the opportunity to consolidate my palliative nursing, operational and local services knowledge; thus, supporting a strong and robust educational platform for both the staff at St Richard’s Hospice, and for Health Professionals across the County.