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Chief Nurse's Blog

Chief Nurse's Blog

Date of release: 8 October 2021

Latest News: Ann-Marie Cannaby Blog

For my latest blog, I wanted to do something different, so I chose to ‘walk’ through a day in the life of a senior member of staff – Cath Wilson, Head of Nurse Education at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT).

Cath is responsible for the education of nurses, midwives, allied health professionals (AHPs) and healthcare support workers (HCSWs) for pre and post registration education. 

As you will read, a typical day for Cath is an extremely varied and highly busy one – often veering way off script – but one that is also productive too.

7am – I arrive at work carrying a sample of spit for the LAMP test. A glance at my diary tells me what we are delivering today – there’s an intravenous (IV) study day, ECG training, Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE – assesses the ability to competently apply professional nursing or midwifery skills and knowledge in the UK, usually for our international nurses) bootcamp, a student support session and a development session for band 6s. 

Latest News: Cath Wilson

I spend the first hour piloting the hypoglycaemia module and provided feedback for the My Focus project, a 10-subject fundamentals of care package being developed as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for RWT nurses. This is led by Michelle Hickman-Smith, Matron for Education Quality, and colleague educator Toni Shaw.

I pop in to the vaccine hub on A24 for my flu jab – taking my laptop in case I had to wait – but there was no need; what a slick service! Thanks for the voucher for a free cuppa!

An early meeting follows with NHSE/I for education leads regarding Professional Nurse Advocates (PNAs). Launched in March, PNA training provides skills to facilitate restorative supervision to their colleagues and teams, in nursing and beyond. 

It appears RWT is ahead of the curve with implementation of PNAs and we are very useful to the network. We have been asked to pilot a data collection process for the national team, ahead of its rollout. 

Next I write and submit a paper for the RWT matrons’ meeting detailing the great improvements they have made in the compliance of care certificate achievement. While I tap away at my keyboard, Alison Wells, Deputy Head of Nursing Education, chairs the Practice Education Facilitators (PEFs) quarterly meeting.

From there I have my regular, scheduled visit with one of our ward managers to understand any barriers to accessing education from frontline staff. 

With a visit elsewhere cancelled due to clinical pressures, I enjoy an impromptu catch-up with Katrina Creedon, Senior Quality Matron, and Ruth Spedding, Resident Falls Expert, to ensure the Trust’s Quality agenda is being embedded into our education programmes. 

I have around 20 team staff members and I enjoy catching up with all of them. Today’s chat is well worth it – a member of staff shares information that I can assist with to stop them leaving. In my experience it’s always worth investing this time.

If that was cause for celebration then my next task certainly is, as I attend the newly qualified nurses celebration event on MS Teams with Ann-Marie Cannaby, Yvonne Higgins, Acting Chief Nurse, and Vanessa Whatley, Deputy Chief Nurse and Christian Ward, Head of Nursing Workforce. Vanessa delivers a great speech about her career journey, as did other inspirational speakers such as Doreen Black, Head of Nursing for Division 1. 

The celebratory mood continued as we’re treated to some uplifting songs from Lola Omotoso, Nurse Education Practice Education Facilitator, who sings rousing renditions of Lean On Me by Bill Withers and Firework by Katy Perry. You can tell Lola is part of a church gospel choir! We are excited to have 70-plus nursing students starting as staff nurses soon and we have created preceptorship programme spaces for them all, so please book on. 

Back down to earth for a quick but productive meeting with Chrissla Davies, Deputy Head of Nursing for Division 1, about setting up a teaching faculty for the implementation of Acute Illness Management (AIM) programme. 

Then, just to ensure we have the budget for what we need to do, I attend a financial accounts meeting to check the student data collection matches the tariff on the Learning and Development Agreement (LDA).

Following a service review, an urgent call has come in to look at competencies for healthcare assistants (HCAs) so I don’t get to do the pre-work for the reading café I have set up for next week on using robots in care. I’ll push that along to tomorrow. 

Many thanks to John Hudson in RWT’s fantastic library services for his support with the literature review and with that I managed a 5pm finish.

Evening event – I attended the University of Wolverhampton Class of 2020 graduation event, was great to meet our university partners face to face and to celebrate the success of our students. 

Oh, finally, text message received – LAMP test result negative! All in a day’s work!

I hope you enjoyed sharing a day in the life of a member of staff and I welcome any feedback.

Take care,

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham