Tell us about your background and how long you have been in nursing?
My passion for nursing came from my grandmother who I would now describe as Mother Teresa, she was known as the ‘village nurse’, during our holidays to my parents’ home country I would watch her care for people who had no one; she made sure people died with dignity, when they could no longer look after themselves. She did all this for no reward or recognition. I knew this is what I wanted to do; I wanted to make a difference through caring for people.
I qualified as A Registered General Nurse (Adult) in Oct 1997 from the University of Bradford. From the first day of putting on my uniform and buckle I have enjoyed every role I have done from A&E, ICU, Acute Surgery to Acute Medicine.
I have very high standards when it comes to caring for my patients and their families and tackle any obstacles that compromise patient care- and there was many. My inspiration to be the best came from my patients and their families, that 80-year-old who had no visitors, I would spend my time off duty visiting her and listening to her great childhood stories, that patient who was in pain during his last days I would relentlessly try to get him comfortable until I got that smile which indicated he was ok. This to me was what nursing was all about. Florence Nightingale is my hero as she said “If a nurse declines to do kind things for her patient, because it is not her business, I should say that nursing was not her calling”.
Tell us about your role at The Yorkshire Clinic, Ramsay Health Care UK?
I started in the role as Head of Clinical Services (Matron) at The Yorkshire Clinic in 2016 The role of the Matron is very diverse, challenging and rewarding. The Yorkshire Clinic is one of Ramsay’s flagship hospitals and as the Matron I take pride in making sure we deliver ‘Outstanding Care and Services’.
My role as Matron is to ensure the care and services we provide at The Yorkshire Clinic is Safe, Caring, Responsive, Effective and Well Led. The Governance Framework we have embedded at the Yorkshire Clinic enables us to monitor and continuously improve the quality of care and services we provide.
I believe in lifelong learning and enjoy reading research and any publications that will enable improvement in patient care.
The Ramsay Value of ‘People Caring for People’ is very affiliated to my own values as a nurse leader. I believe if I care for my people they will naturally care for the patients and their families. I know my vision for ensuring we see the person in the patient and provide care as though they were our family member is reflected by my team. As a leader you will see that I do put staff and patients before myself, that there is no job that I won’t do and that I do exemplify my values.
Tell us about a day in the life of a Clinical Head of Service at Ramsay Health Care UK?
The role of Head of Clinical Services is diverse, one minute I could be presenting an aspect of the clinical strategy to our commissioners the next I could be with a patient assisting in their care needs.
I start my day by visiting all the departments, I do this to ensure I have the assurance that the teams are fully equipped for the day and I can provide support, guidance if there are any concerns. During my rounds I talk to the Consultants and Staff, listen to the great stories from the day before or advice on any issues they may have.
One day is never the same in the role of Head of Clinical Services as the role requires response to sudden events our patients throw i.e supporting the team with a patient who has become unwell.
One thing I do in my role and one which I thoroughly enjoy is ‘visiting the patients’ at some point in the day I will visit patients in their rooms. I love hearing how my nurses have been caring for them and the feedback they give me about their Journey with us is invaluable.
Patients over the years have always said ‘they feel special’ when Matron visits them. A patient once told me “I feel safe when I know there is a Matron in the hospital overseeing everything”. This has really stuck with me.
I am always available to the Staff, Consultants, Patients and their Families. A large aspect of the role of the Head of Clinical Services is to ensure all care and services being delivered is safe through effective Governance. I review outcomes, patient feedback, incidents, National Policies and Guidance to ensure everything we do is in line with best practice. I have to ensure we can evidence to our regulator the CQC that everything we do is Safe, Effective, Responsive, Caring and Well Led.
What gives you the most satisfaction in your role?
Patient feedback gives me the most satisfaction in my role. When a patient tells me that I have a great team I feel so proud. Only last week I saw a patient who had returned for a follow up appointment and she said “Matron your nurses are a credit to you, they took away my anxieties with the care and empathy they showed, nothing was too much for them”.
The other aspect of my role I find rewarding is when I feel I have made a difference to a member of my team through my leadership. I pride myself in leading with compassion. I role model the Ramsay Values and when I hear my team enact some of behaviours with others I feel proud.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to advance on their nursing career and hoping to become a Head of Clinical Service?
As a Clinical leader you have the ability to make high quality care for all a reality. As said by Florence Nightingale “let whoever is in charge keep this simple question in her head (not how can I always do this right thing myself, but) how can I provide for this right thing to be always done”.
Study ‘Servant Leadership’- A servant leader’s action is motivated by a genuine desire to help others.
Tell us how you have progressed your career with Ramsay Health Care UK
I have truly enjoyed my role as Head of Clinical Services at The Yorkshire Clinic. My hard work, dedication and standards at The Yorkshire Clinic was recognised by the Ramsay Leaders, as I was starting to look at what next for me, as I aspire to become a ‘Chief Nurse’, I was given the opportunity to attend the Executive Leadership – The Ramsay Way Programme in Australia. This is a global executive leadership development programme designed to develop executive leaders and enable them to take the organisation into the future towards a changing global health care market. I was so humbled to be chosen and have truly committed my time and energy to this programme, enjoying every aspect and learning so much about myself as a leader and about Ramsay Health Care. Having spent time with People that worked closely with ‘Paul Ramsay’ has shown me how they have adopted his passion for ‘People’.
This programme has cemented my plans and aspiration to become a ‘Chief Nurse’. I want to influence wider and enable more people to adopt the ‘People Caring for People’ Values. As a nurse leader I want to enable innovation and best practice in Healthcare and help shape Healthcare for the future. I want to everyone to be able to access healthcare and receive high standards of care that is individualised to meet their needs. I want to develop nurses for the future who take pride and feel humble in being given the opportunity to care for patients when they are most vulnerable. I want to shape policies which place ‘people’ at the heart of everything we do. I want nursing to be a vocation where the fundamental care of patients needs come first.