Tell us about your background. How did you come to be the lead nurse for learning disabilities?
I grew up in a village in south Wales and have seven siblings – I’m number 5 – I have one brother and he is the eldest. Wanted to leave village life and nursing gave me the opportunity but didn’t like blood so I choose learning disability nursing after some experience in working at a hospital for people who had LD. Since qualifying I have had varied roles including community nurse, project lead supporting people to move out of long stay institutions, research nurse, trainer in multiple disability, nurse manager and my current role – what is great about this role is I continue to learn – acute liaison nurse roles are relatively. I recognise there is still much to be done and still have the motivation.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Working directly with people with learning disabilities and families where my accumulated knowledge and skills can make a real difference to a hospital experience.
What is the greatest challenge you face at work?
Balancing strategic and clinical priorities - I feel I am unable to make sustainable strategic change as a lone practitioner as there are significant patient priorities.
Who inspires you?
Both our chief executive and chief nurse who I have come across in a previous role are both inspirational – leaders who believe in equality and diversity and create the right conditions for individuals and a healthy organisation to flourish. I am also inspired daily by some of the people I meet with learning disabilities and autism, and their families who despite so much hardship continue to be so positive.
What do you like doing when not at work?
Lots – I love the outdoors and just completed my first marathon in Paris this year after falling in love with Parkrun in 2013 and then completing four half marathons. I am a cyclist and walker – I started a book group that is 20 years old in December so reading is high on my agenda – and last year manged to see 21 of the Guardian top 50 films so that is where I am most Saturday nights.