Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Operations Manager Charlene Roe on her path into research

I’m the Operations Manager for the Nottingham Cancer Clinical Trials Team. When I qualified as a staff nurse 11 years ago, I can honestly say this is not where I would have placed myself.

As a newly qualified staff nurse I started out on an acute medical/cardiology ward. I learnt a huge amount. I loved the pace of the ward, the variety, and the patients.

After a short time on the ward I decided to broaden my skills and got a job in the community as a staff nurse. This experience helped me develop a whole new set of skills. I went from the comfort of a ward with people around that you can ask a quick question, to being out on the road in people’s homes making the decisions. It really helped me develop decision making skills and confidence in my abilities as a nurse. 

Soon after moving into the community the cardiac catheter suite was being set up at Kings Mill and posts were available there. The opportunity was fantastic, helping to set up develop and work on a brand new unit and service. I was excited by the prospect and applied after encourage from my old ward sister. I was successful in gaining an ‘e grade’ staff nurse post within 1 year of qualifying, I was thrilled!

It was during my time in the catheter suite when I had my first taste of research, when a secondment opportunity came up as a cardiac research nurse. It involved working on one thrombolysis study. It sounded great, I would be helping to shape future medication and evidence based care. I spent 18 months in the post and loved every minute, the attention to detail required, keeping everything in order, the contact with patients in A&E.

This first taste of research opened a whole new world of fantastic opportunities to me. Not only with the people and networking this post allowed, but also the travel. As with all research the study came to an end and so did my secondment.

I started looking for jobs with a research element in them, and by chance stumbled across a position with the University of Nottingham as a Practitioner Health Lecturer on a secondment basis. I got the job and worked half my time in the University teaching clinical skills and half my time in the catheter suite. This gave a unique chance to mix both the practical nursing with the satisfaction that teaching brought and developing my skills in teaching.

As with my research post this secondment came to an end. But now I really had got the research bug and moved to Derby Hospitals as a band 6 Clinical Trials Nurse. I worked closely with the stroke team and went back to my roots as the research was a thrombolysis trial. I had the chance to develop my case holding skills and become more specialised in research.

After a couple of years I was successfully appointed as Research Team Leader and I moved back to Kings Mill. This post involved growing and developing a research department, and I learnt a lot about research governance. This job also gave me my first taste of corporate management and I loved it, learning and being involved with Dr Foster, NHSLA, and CQC issues.

As part of this role, I worked closely with the Nottingham Cancer Clinical Trial Team, and it’s at this point were I learnt of the Operations Manager post that I have now. I was successfully appointed into the position and the rest as they say is history. I love my job, the challenges it presents and developing myself further. I enjoy managing a large team, and the satisfaction of helping to develop people within my team.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Patient Partnership Group blog - November

Trish Cargill ,Chair of the Trust’s Patient Partnership Group writes:

The Patient Partnership Group (or PPG for short) has an important role to play at NUH. It is a group of patients and staff who come together monthly to offer a view on Trust issues – to give a patient voice and to support the Trust in making improvements that make a difference to patients, their relatives and carers.

This month, by working together with staff we have:

  • Thanked Danny Mortimer, the Trust’s Director of Workforce and Strategy for his commitment to involving and listening to patients during his time at NUH over the last  7 years. Danny has consistently fought to ensure the patient voice is heard throughout the organisation  Danny attended the PPG meeting this month, with members thanking him for his contributions and wishing him all the best for the future. Danny takes up his new post as Chief Executive of NHS Employers later this month
  • Offered valuable feedback on the Trust’s Cardio – Pulmonary Resuscitation Decision – Making Guidance for Adults suggesting greater prominence is given to the section on communication with patients and or their relatives
  • Used feedback from the Carers surveys to plan further improvements to facilities for carers throughout the Trust, in line with our quality priorities to more effectively and consistently support carers

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

What is a matron?

Who are you and what do you do?
I am Jamie Crew, Matron/Deputy Clinical Lead for the Children’s Hospital.

What do you do in your role?
Fundamentally my priority is always safe care. Digging a bit deeper my role is about providing leadership, direction and support to the nursing staff in the Children’s Hospital.  

Being on the service management team and in this role it’s about leading by example, being visible, setting out clear expectations about safe standards of care and ensuring we provide those standards to the children and families who visit us, all day, every day, and seven days a week. It’s about acknowledging the great work that’s being done and always looking for ways to improve that. Essentially, providing the care that you’d expect to receive yourself and for your own children and family.

What did you do before you were a Matron/Deputy Clinical Lead in the Children’s Hospital?
I qualified as a children’s nurse in 1998 and graduated at Nottingham University. I worked over at the City on various wards for 3 years. I came across to the Queen's Medical Centre in 2001 to work in the Children’s Emergency Department. Working closely with the teams from the wards and caring for critically ill and injured children I always felt part of the Children’s Hospital. 

Service improvement and engaging staff in change has always been a large part of my work ethic. While I hope I have a good sense of humour and am approachable, for those that have worked with me, they know that I have high standards and always strive to achieve those standards. 

When I saw the post advertised in the Children’s Hospital I thought – that sounds like a great challenge and will give me a great opportunity to make positive changes and support the already great work being done here. So in November 2013 I got the job and have really enjoyed the challenge over the last year or so.

What’s the most challenging part of your role?
One of my biggest challenges is probably the way I manage my time. Trying to prioritise what’s urgent, what’s important and out of those things, what needs doing next. I’m blessed with a great team of senior nurses in the Children’s Hospital, and there is a fantastic culture of team work and camaraderie.

What’s the most enjoyable part about your role?
It’s often what might be viewed as the little things that bring me joy at work. There’s not just a sense of enjoyment at seeing a large project being completed on time. Seeing praise and complements given to our nurses and staff in the children’s hospital is enjoyable. I’m overwhelmed by the commitment and hard work of the staff and when that’s acknowledged by families and patients it really does make me proud. 

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to progress to Matron/Deputy Clinical Lead?
You still need to be driven to provide excellent care and not lose sight of that. Our professional practice model at NUH and our values and behaviours really do provide a focus for that. You need to test your resilience, your ability to make decisions (not always popular ones), to manage your time effectively and to raise the bar even through challenging times. 

Self-belief and confidence in your ability to lead and support staff and to really understand what excellent care looks like are also key. The reality is, that becoming a Matron means that you won’t spend as much time on the shop floor as you once did, and making that decision to leave my ward manager role was one which I didn’t rush into.