I have a wealth of hospital and community experience in a variety of multi-disciplinary settings. These include Accident and Emergency, Paediatrics, School Nursing, Youth Offending, Health Visiting and CAMHS. Working in these diverse fields has provided me with a breadth and depth of knowledge and skills for providing services some of the most complex and deprived children and families.
Eleven years within Accident and Emergency I gained experience in medical, surgical and orthopaedic emergency care for all age groups. I have always had a special interest in paediatrics: undertaking Paediatric qualification enabled me to hone these specific skills and forge good communication links between A&E and the Paediatric ward. Within this role I formulated and implemented procedures, protocols and pathways to improve the quality of care for children. This included pathways for children utilising the A&E department, supporting careful transfer between A&E and the paediatric ward and ensuring good communication between A&E and the community.
A keen interest in community and public health inspired me to undertake the ‘Specialist Community Public Health Nurse [School Health] training; this provided me with a foundation in community nursing, developing excellent analytical and judgment skills, working alongside other agencies to promote the wellbeing of the school age child. The skills I attained in this role steered me to becoming the Health Advisor for the Youth Offending Service. This appointment involved supporting young people who had been involved in offending behaviour to make informed choices about health issues, advising and supporting decisions around sexual health, drugs and alcohol. This role gave me extensive experience of working with children and families with complex and diverse health and social needs. Often these children were living in difficult situations where safeguarding was pivotal to their health and well-being. Current research suggests close correlation between children looked after and offending behaviour (Youth Justice Board 2015), a lot of the young people encountered during this role were in the local authority care many presenting with complex emotional and behavioural issues. For some young people their offending behaviour led to custodial sentences, as part of this role I was responsible for ensuring holistic, comprehensive health assessments were compiled and communicated through a confidential process to the appropriate professional within the receiving establishments.
With an interest in emotional and behavioural psychology I secured a position with Cumbria Children’s Services as Senior Practitioner for Looked After and Adopted Children working for Child and Adolescent metal health team. This post gave me the opportunity to be part a team, setting up a new dynamic service called the CLASS Team (Children Looked After support service). After consultation with service users, other professionals and agencies I was instrumental in the development of the service to support professionals, carers and young people. This support was provided by offering consultation; supervision sessions, facilitating planning meetings and ensuring smooth transitions between agencies, ensuring care planning reflected the views and wishes of the young people.
As a Health visitor, having completed my conversion to a 2nd field of practice [Health Visiting]. This was an exciting and rewarding position; I had a socially diverse and complex case load providing advice and support to families. This included a high proportion of child protection, child in need and cause for concern families where I regularly used the local safeguarding policies and pathways (Working together to safe guard Children 2018),contributing to case conferences and core groups. Applying the Healthy Child Programme (2009) I carried out development reviews at key stages, working with families identifying health needs for both children and parents.On identifying complex issues around mental health, drugs, alcohol and domestic violence supported families to access local services. Working closely with children's services to support, families and safeguard children and vulnerable people within the family home.
As the Named Nurse for Children Looked after for North Lancashire within the safeguarding team. I was responsible for the health needs and co-ordination of health care for around 550 children, many moving across geographical boundaries moving between different local authorities and CCGs and hospital trusts. Working with some of the most complex risk-taking young people to help them to access services. Some of these young people being at serious risk of child sexual exploitation and gang grooming. I have worked alongside other professionals ensuring clinical engagement of services taking responsibly for safety risk management of these high risk cases, contributing to strategy meetings. During my practice I have had to work within the guidance around sudden infant and child death protocol, ensuring effective safeguarding practice for all other children family members and staff involved. I have contributed to collating information to inform serious case reviews for local safeguarding boards and supported the implementation of recommendations into practice.
Having worked with some of the most socially disadvantaged families with complex health inequalities ,my practice has been guided by National guidance such as Working together to safeguard children (2018) and the healthy child programme 0 to 19 (2009) this includes identification of key health issues early intervention, health promotion, screening, safeguarding and immunisation programmes. I have worked closely with main stream and special schools to ensure the young people successfully enjoy and engage with their educational experience. I have provided leadership, support and safeguarding supervision to my direct team and to the wider professionals consisting of Health Visitors and School Nurses, associated professionals and management. Also offering supervision and advice to a large number of independent Schools and Children’s homes ensuring the delivery of a quality service for the young people. Working with clients who have have had to be assessed under the mental capacity and mental health act ensuring they have the appropriate referrals to services and support to those whilst awaiting services. Working relationships are paramount to the success of any service and working with all agencies to have clear effective channels of communication and information sharing ensuring information governance and confidentiality is observed when necessary. Strategically I have worked with Children’s Social care and CCGs to meet quality care standards and delivery of the service, identifying the trusts key performance indicators and working towards achieving the highest standards of care. I continue to keep my clinical skills current by maintaining my bank Health Visitor for CPFT. I have recently had a 10 months as a Clinical Nurse specialist in Safeguarding for Children and Adults within this role I have been able to use my safeguarding knowledge around children to a great extent. I have had to learn and develop my skills around Adult safeguarding, mental capacity and Deprivation of liberty. This has been a very exciting role which has provided me with a wealth of new knowledge.
Qualifications and memberships
2017 Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and teaching Higher Education
2013 Community Prescriber V150
2012 SCPHN 2nd conertation in Health Visiting Practice
2003 SCPHN School Health
2000 Registered Children’s Nurse
1993 Registered Nurse
Academic and research interests
Children with complex emotional needs
Neo-natal care/ care of the new born
Children’s Acute Care Nursing
International Child Health and Healthcare
Simulation in Education