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CNO Bulletin April 2021


A message from the CNO - Professor Nina Morgan

Spring is in the air and with it we have started to see growth and restoration across UHCW. I am delighted that this is the first issue of the CNO bulletin that is available online for everyone to access wherever they are and in it share the success and stories from the amazing people that make up Team UHCW. 

This issue has a real spring feel to it and I hope that you get some inspiration to take into the new season with you and find the content useful and informative. 

As we go into the next phase of restoring servcies at UHCW I want to once again thank everyone for their deciation to our patients and encourage everyone to support each other on this next step of our journey. 

In this issue I want to highlight the oppotunites that are avialable at UHCW which allows us to develop our current nursing and midwifery leadership teams and also develop the next generation of leaders. 

Good leadership is undoubtedly a key part in allowing us to deliver great care, by inspring, supporting and developing the team around them. One of the values at UHCW is learn and we are keen to encourage learning by making opportunities, like the regional and national courses and opportunities highlighted below availlable to those who wish to attend. 

As part of our Pathway to Excellence we also are keen for current and future leaders to show how they can shape our future through shared decision making, with an excellent story from Robyn Gough highlighting the difference it can make.

I am very proud of the leadership team at UHCW and the achievements I see every day and am also excited for the future, to see the new ideas and inspirational ideas that will help drive forward the care we are able to deliver.


In this issue:


Interview with Kate O’Hara on achieving Bronze Award through Ward Accreditation

Ward Manager, Kate O’Hara, and the Team on Ward 33 Surgery achieved Bronze Award following their Accreditation Assessment at the beginning of March.

They were one standard away from achieving Silver.

How does it feel to have achieved this accreditation for your ward?

We have carried on with business as usual! We are all very pleased and I am immensely proud of the Team, but we are focusing on maintaining those standards we have achieved so far. We don’t want to let any of those standards slip. We know we’re not perfect and we know we will continue to work towards those standards we didn’t meet on the day.

How did you and the Team feel on the day?

We knew the assessment was coming any day, and I had worked with my Band 6’s in preparation looking at our baseline assessment in 2019. We shared the standards between us (five each) and focussed on ensuring we met as many elements as possible.

We were all nervous when we saw you arrive, but as the day progressed everyone started to relax. Having positive feedback during the assessment helped everyone relax.

What improvements have you and the Team been focussing on over the last six months?

We have really focussed on Pressure Ulcer (PU) and Falls prevention. After investigations into PUs occurring the Team has been really keen to learn and ensure these do not affect our patients again. We have been supported by the Tissue Viability Team with educating staff on skin assessments and the ASKIN care plan and our Matron Annette Wye, our Education Lead- Nikki Lewin, myself and the Band 6’s have spent time auditing and making sure all skin assessments have been completed and the actions of the ASKIN plan have been implemented. We have fed this back to the wider team so they understand how we are improving.

Have you celebrated?


We have a WhatsApp group and everyone was celebrating and congratulating each other. We have had a cake to say well done and recognition from our GDNA Jo Keech and the management team for surgery.

What are you most proud of?

My Team - HCAs and RNs. They are brilliant. They work so hard and are constantly supporting each other on a day to day basis.

What are you concentrating on going forward?

Maintaining the standards we have achieved (which isn’t always easy) and asking the Team what standards we want to focus on next.

We want Silver next time if not Gold!!


Penguino Pitch Winners

Pitches were made, the judges deliberated and we can now reveal the winners of the UHCW Charity Penguino’s £50,000 Wellbeing Awards. A total of 105 applications to improve the wellbeing of staff were received and 26 were shortlisted.

They pitched ideas to a team of “Penguino’s People” - judges Chief Executive Officer Professor Andy Hardy, Chief Nursing Officer and UHCW Charity Trustee Professor Nina Morgan, Director of Estates and UHCW Charity Trustee Lincoln Dawkin, Group Director for Clinical Support Services and UHCW Charity Trustee Mark Easter and Chief People Officer Donna Griffiths.

The ideas were so impressive that UHCW Charity is doing its utmost to increase its funding to a whopping £130,000.

UHCW Charity is looking to fund three projects totalling £65,000 in the £10,000-plus category.

This money would see a renovation of the Cardiothoracic Critical Care and General Critical Care staff rooms, the launch of Penguino’s Pro-active Digital Wellbeing Tool for all staff and an upgrade to the Hospital of St Cross Theatres’ staff room.

A total of £50,000 is needed for seven schemes costing between £5,000 and £10,000.

These include a Rugby outdoor rest area project, Summer Olympics, virtual reality headsets, noise reducing pod chairs for our library and makeovers to the Labour Ward and Fracture Clinic staff rooms.

Eight proposals costing up to £5,000 are to be funded at a combined cost of £15,000.

This money will fund walking routes at both hospital sites, a wellbeing library, away days and new water boiler taps.

A short montage of the successful bids can be viewed by clicking here.


DAISY Awards Update - Two winners on Awards triumphant return

Marking the beginning of spring, our DAISY Awards have made a triumphant return after being stood down due to the pandemic.

The international recognition programme, funded and supported by the UHCW Charity, celebrates the skillful, compassionate care that Nurses and Midwives provide every day with two special awards given out.

Newly Qualified Nurse, Eleanor Shimwell, was beaming with pride as she was surprised with her award on Cedar Ward at the Hospital of St Cross by our Chief Nursing Officer, Professor Nina Morgan.

Her nomination read: “Ellie was my nurse for the majority of my time as an inpatient on Cedar Ward.

“I was surprised when she told me she only qualified as a nurse in February of this year and is only 23 years old. 

“Ellie is a dedicated, caring nurse and an absolute credit to the nursing profession and to UHCW.

“Nothing was ever too much trouble for Ellie. She never stopped rushing about, like all nurses, but somehow also found the time to listen. Thank you Ellie for taking such good care of me.”

Our second DAISY Award went to Registered Nurse, Rebecca Edmonson, who was surprised with a presentation on Ward 14 at the end of her last shift before she went on maternity leave.

Rebecca’s nomination is a testament to how she went the extra mile to help her young patient.

It read: “My daughter was really struggling to communicate with staff due to pain and her anxiety.

“She was finding the whole experience of being in hospital overwhelming. Becky instantly built up a great rapport with both her and ourselves as parents.

“She brought her out of her shell and got her to open up and be able to speak more and in turn it gave her the confidence to communicate exactly what was going on in detail to the doctors rather that hardly saying anything and finding the experience overwhelming and zoning out.

“Becky encouraged her with a kind, caring nature keeping her upbeat before her operation and came down to theatre with her which helped her to relax at a time when she normally would have had a huge panic attack.

“I am so grateful that she was able to connect with my little girl who hardly ever connects with anyone due to her additional needs.”

Very well-deserved awards to both amazing nurses and we all wish Rebecca good luck on the birth of her baby.

To mark the beginning of the new financial year and the restoration of the DAISY Awards following the winter COVID-19 pressures, all clinical areas can access more DAISY Awards resources! Nomination leaflets can be collected from the volunteer office (on the first floor) and posters can be printed off to showcase the awards to patients and relatives in your areas.

Please email for poster PDFs.

Let’s continue to spread the DAISY celebrations and recognise the wonderful care that our patients receive. 


Chairing a Shared Decision Making (SDM) Council

Robyn Gough is a Clinical Sister and a 2020 OSCA Winner, working on the Ward 10/11 Green Pathway. She is chair of the new Ward 10/11 Shared Decision Making Council and has written about her experiences of launching and chairing the council over the last few months…over to you Robin!

“I first heard about Shared Decision Making during a conversation in relation to me taking on more responsibility on the ward and opportunities for progression within my nursing career. Initially I was apprehensive as the purpose of the council wasn’t clear and the role and expectations of a council member were ambiguous.

"I was concerned about the time commitment required for the council on top of my responsibilities as a staff nurse during and outside of clinical shifts. However, my ward manager and matron appeared passionate and I was keen to become more empowered and involved in decision-making in my practice environment.

"Now that the Ward 10/11 is council five months old, reflecting on and recognising the changes and impact the council has made in such a short time, I am glad to be a part of it. As a council of six members we come together once every month (supported by a practice facilitator) to generate and share ideas, follow up our outstanding actions and support each other and our ward to meet our goals.

"The council has allowed me to work more closely with colleagues, but also provides an environment to share ideas with other clinical areas. This collaborative way of working has allowed us to not only develop a great working relationship across the Green Pathway, but has allowed the exchange of ideas in order for us to efficiently meet similar aims. The Shared Decision Making Council has involved and empowered staff including healthcare assistants, ward clerks and newly qualified nurses to make changes that not only help improve staff wellbeing but also patient experience.

"We have worked on a number of improvement projects already! We recognised that since forming the Green Pathway we were receiving an increased number of phone calls to the ward that often required significant time to manage appropriately. We put up a tally chart and counted and themed the calls we were receiving.

"We are currently in the process of trialling ways to signpost and manage these enquiries more appropriately, saving time for staff and improving the experience of patients and relatives too. We have also focused on “time wasted” during lengthy anti-coagulation referrals to other hospitals. We have worked with other NHS organisations to make the referral process quicker, easier, and more efficient. By utilising UHCWi improvement methodology, particularly in relation to waste reduction we have been able to make and evidence significant improvements. We continue to focus on waste reduction as a council moving forward.”


Clinical Leadership Coaching and Advisory Service (CLCAS)

Please see on this link from Siobhan Heafield, Regional Chief Nurse for NHS England and Improvement – Midlands Region

re: Clinical Leadership Coaching and Advisory Service.

Note that there is a reference on the flyer to participants stating they should be ‘currently on Leadership Programmes’, we have been informed that this not necessarily so.

Any further questions please email:

CLCAS offers not only Career Coaching to professionals with a clinical background who are interested in moving into leadership roles but also offers access to a Career and Resource Portal.

This online resource contains a vast suite of eLearning courses, videos and articles all tailored towards career development for clinical leaders in the NHS to compliment the coaching offer.


NHS Regional Clinical Fellow Scheme

NHS England and NHS Improvement have partnered with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management to establish the new NHS Regional Clinical Fellow Scheme.

The scheme will deliver on a key commitment of the NHS People Plan 2020/21 to expand the opportunities and support to talented clinical leaders and to strengthen clinical leadership capability in the NHS.

Please click the picture for further information.

The deadline to apply is 9am on Tuesday 4 May 2021. See the FMLM website for full details.


Conference for Nurses and Midwives from ethnic minority backgrounds - 8B and above

Please see below from Hilary Garratt, Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England at NHS England:

“You may remember the symposium held last year for colleagues from an ethnic minority background who were operating at band 8 and above. The event focused on leadership potential whist also exploring the barriers faced by some in relation to career progression. The output of the event contributed to the first ever national CNO, CMidO ethnic minority action plan.

We are holding a further symposium for nursing and midwifery colleagues from an ethnic minority background, but this time it will be for those at 8b and above.

The event will take place virtually via MS Teams on Tuesday 11th May 2021. The purpose of this event is again to support our talent pipeline, highlighting opportunities and harnessing system support. We will be showcasing best practice and working with participants and senior leaders to drive change”

Further details and the link to join are included here - Registration cut off is at 17:00 on Thursday 6th May.


Dates for Diary: International Nurses Day – 12th May 2021 and international Day of the midwife - 5th may 2021  

In the build up to International Nurses Day on 12th May, 2021 and International Day of the Midwife on 5th May 2021, UHCW have helped to celebrate our international nurses and midwives with a special event.

Two groups attended the event in the Clinical Sciences Building on Friday 9th April, where they were welcomed by Associate Director of Nursing Vicky Williams, Associate Director of Nursing (workforce) Rhonda Pickering and Practice Development Lead Heather Price.

Our international nurses and midwives were given a small care package which were kindly put together by our International Recruitment team, which also included some items donated by UHCW Charity like Easter chocolate, a thank you card and more all inside a tie-dye tote bag.

I spoke to both groups and wanted to thank them for the brave steps they’ve taken to join our team at UHCW. I was able to introduce the Pathway to Excellence programme and its standards, outlining the journey all our nurses will be going on over the next year.

Our international nurses were also thanked by many staff across our Trust in a short video at the end of the session.

The Communications team will be sharing stories of international nurses at UHCW on TrustNav and social media as we look ahead to International Nurses Day.


International Nurse Recruits: Q&A

This month Vicky Parker, Practice Facilitator for Pathway to Excellence, interviewed one of our new international nursing recruits to share their journey so far, training and their thoughts on Coventry.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a nurse registered with the NMC:

My name is Alby Mathew, and I am a nurse by profession. I completed my bachelor degree in nursing in India in 2017 and have since gained three and half years of experience in oncology, working in Delhi. I am really passionate about my work and strive to provide the best care.

I chose nursing because when I saw my older sister and her journey as a nurse, I was really excited. I love the variety in my routine, the challenges, the teamwork and above all helping people in need.

To become a registered nurse with the NMC, I had to pass a few of exams. Firstly, I had to take an English Language Test, this is an exam to check my ability to read, write, speak and listen in English. After clearing this, I then moved on to a computer based test, which was about nursing practice. Then later, I came to UK and I had to undertake a practical OSCE programme and exam before I could join the NMC register. The journey was not easy, there were ups and downs, but with the help of my teachers and God's blessing I achieved my dreams.

What are you enjoying most about life in Coventry? How are you finding our lovely British winter weather?

I am really happy that I chose to come to Coventry as people here are really nice and welcoming. The best part is my ward (cardiology), they are like a family to me. As everything is new to me I am learning every day and that's what I am enjoying.

The snowfall was so amazing. I had a lot of fun and took a lot of pictures! I haven’t been to many places yet because of Covid but I went to Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve the other day. It was sunny and really beautiful - I really loved it.

What’s it been like training for the NMC International Nurse Test of Competence/OSCE?

I was really worried about the exam initially but the Practice Development Team trainers are just so amazing. They are very welcoming and lovely people. They put all their efforts into improving us.

Teaching a large group was not easy for them but they helped each and every person individually. Along with the theory we had our practice sessions as well. They would mark our documentation on the day itself and give us the feedback.

Also, before the actual exam they conducted a mock test for us so that we could get a better understanding of the exam and gain our confidence, only because of their efforts our whole group passed the OSCE exam.

How does nursing in the UK differ from back home?

Nursing is UK is totally different from my home country. In the UK we have a whole team involved a patient’s journey (the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, OTs, IDT, physiotherapist etc.) It is not the same back in my country.
However, in my country I gained the skills to insert cannulas, give IVs , insert NGs, take blood samples and handle lines when I was a student nurse, but in the UK we have extra training and undergo competency assessment to do all these procedures post registration.
There are also a lot of differences in policy and protocols.

Where are you most looking forward to exploring in the UK when the Covid-19 restrictions lift?

I would love to visit London, I have heard that it is a beautiful place but I want to explore the city.
Also, my older sister in working in Basildon, I would like to visit her as there are really beautiful beaches over there.


National Healthcare Uniform Workforce Consultation


The National Healthcare Uniform Project is a proposal put forward by NHS Supply Chain: Hotel Services to introduce a nationally standardised uniform across the NHS in England.

A national uniform will offer a strong national identity and utilise the buying power of the NHS by delivering cost savings.

Originally launched in the summer of 2019, the project was paused during 2020 due to more important priorities relating to the pandemic. The initial reaction to the proposal from both patients and healthcare professionals appears to be positive.

We want to hear your voice and understand your requirements for a uniform that is fit for purpose, practical and comfortable to wear.

We need as many nurses, midwives and AHPs as possible to be aware and share their views.Click here to have our sayWe need as many nurses, midwives and AHPs as possible to be aware and share their views.

Click here to have your say.


Research and Development Updates

All change in Research and Development:

After 43 years working at Coventry hospital Sue Hewins has finally decided to retire but not for long, as she will be returning mid-April as a Research sister.

Over the years Sue has helped hundreds of nurses reach their potential from giving Suzanna Blackman her first job at UHCW which inspired her to do her nursing training. More recently last month Sue has encouraged three of her current band 6 nurses to apply to become Senior Research Nurses within Research & Development. Research and Development are pleased to announce that all 3 were successful.

Gail Evans is now leading Renal, Cardiology and Stroke Research teams.

From 26th of April Eleanor Sear will be leading the Human Metabolic Research Unit, Clinical Research Facility and Ophthalmology Research teams.

Also from the 26th of April Davina Hewitt will be leading Gastro, Anaesthetic and Urology Research teams.


Nicolas Aldridge, Lead Nurse R&D, shares information about the 70@7O programme (NIHR 70@70 – Research Leaders Programme)

The Senior Nurse and Midwife Research Leader Programme aims to strengthen the research voice and influence of nurses and midwives in health and social care settings.

It aims to enhance the connection between the research voice and perspectives of NHS nurses and midwives with the NIHR research agendas. The developing community comprises of selected senior clinical nurses and midwives who are committed to championing the promotion of an embedded research active culture among nursing and midwifery staff in their organizations.

Some of the current active projects at UHCW are noted below:

UHCW Consultant Nurse Research Consortium

Set and up and actively conducting local research projects as a consortium.

Completed first Research Project “Impact of the consultant Nurse”. Utilising UHCW care clox to quantify the role. From the literature review performed this is this first quantitative research in this area. Abstract has been submitted to the RCN International Research Conference and an aim is to publish full article in a relevant journal.

UHCW Research Portal

Research portal within in UHCW main OPD has been developed to allow patients and public to engage with research opportunities at UHCW. This has been done by adapting the central area (donut shaped),previously the ambulance coordination desk. We have worked with our PPIE group to inform the needs and use of this area and we are keen, along with St cross PPIE group ,that we replicate this within the Rugby OPD in the future.

This includes large digital display screen with patient research journeys being showcased along with presentation showcasing the facilities and research at UHCW.

Four IPADS had been installed with a UHCW adapted/created NIHR research studies search function via speciality available. Currently in discussion with NIHR to develop this is to a full research portal app that has the potential to be rolled out nationally. We have interest from sites within the west midlands to develop a research portal at their own sites.

The branding/banner for the portal has now been developed and approved by comms – and will be fitted shortly. Once this is complete a formal launch of the Portal will take place.

Active member of the following 70@70 National working groups 

WG2: Research Project Oversight Working - Embedding Clinical Research in Undergraduate Nursing Programmes

Details: This includes initiatives such as piloting UG research materials and/or surveying student Nurse & Midwives on their perceptions of research, quality of research education, content of research education.

WG4: Research Project Oversight PI Development

Details: Project to identify how many nurse PI/CIs there are in England. This will lead to a publication focusing on the scope of current practice, PI barriers/opportunities and nurse confidence; a toolkit to support nurse PIs. Also focus on NIHR guidance for non-medical PIs within clinical research i.e. in what circumstances would the NIHR support non-nurse PIs?

West Midlands Regional Hub

Currently developing a series of webinars for Nurses/Midwife who have interest in research. This will consist of 10 webinars over 10 months covering a range of areas pertinent to delivering research. I am currently developing the session “Engaging the public in research”.

These will be free ticketed events open nationally but led by WM hub.

For further information please contact Nic on


Modern Matron Chris Seddon retires after more than 36 years of service within the NHS 

On Friday 12th March the Trauma and Neuro Group bid a fond farewell to Modern Matron Chris Seddon after more than 36 years of service within the NHS. Under normal circumstances this would have been a “face to face” celebration but the current situation and the fact that Chis had been working remotely due to shielding dictated differently so the Team were required to improvise once again.

Unbeknown to Chris a Microsoft Teams meeting was set up within the group with the invitation extended to include a few other significant people in Chris’s working life. On hearing of Chris’s retirement the Group were delighted that both our Chief Executive Andy and our CNO Nina both wished to be part of the “virtual” celebration. Chris was invited to attend the meeting at the last minute – to keep it as a surprise – (her face was a picture when she realised who was on the call!)

The tribute was led by Sarah Hartley who acknowledged that to the Trauma and Neuro Nursing Team, Chris had brought with her a wealth of knowledge and experience gained since starting her career in 1984. Credit was given to the integrity and influence Chris displays and in particular her strength as a Compassionate Leader and the flexibility and team spirit that she has always demonstrated. Nina continued and led us through the history of Chris’s extensive and impressive career from when she first started her training in Nuneaton to her present post as Modern Matron for Cedar Ward and Rugby Day Surgical Unit. Andy completed the tribute with recognition of the integral part Chris played along with Judith Lewis (who she has worked closely with for many years – they first met on night duty on a Male Medical ward in 1986!) in getting the Hospital of St Cross a CQC rating of good.

The virtual celebration was concluded with a surprise doorstep visitor in the figure of Alistair Nutting (Group Manager for T&O, Cardiothoracic and Plastics) with flowers, gifts and cards. The Team will miss Chris enormously but wish her well as she goes forward with the next chapter in her life - enjoying the freedom of being able to take lots of trips along with her husband, who is also retiring, in their camper van! Good luck Chris – we look forward to the “face to face” celebration when it is safe for us all to do so!


COMPETITION: What will you do when we are out of lockdown? Still time to enter

The health and wellbeing of all staff at UHCW is hugely important and over the last year all of us have worked incredibly hard day in day out so it’s vital that sometimes we take the time to look after ourselves.

We are all keen for the world around us to open up again and over the next few months restrictions will start to lift, with that hope on the horizon and to help give a little lift we ask, what do you want to do when we are out of lockdown?

Tell us the fun and exciting ways you are planning to celebrate when we are allowed to and, with the amazing support of our UHCW Charity, a winner will be chosen who will have the choice of a very special prize, options include an afternoon tea, spa day, theme park tickets and even tickets to a live sporting event. 

Three runners up will received a pamper package courtesy of UHCW Charity too, so get involved and let’s all get through this together.

Just reply to this email with what you want to do, no matter how big or small and we can help to make your summer a little brighter.

All prizes are generously provided by our very own UHCW Charity and are subject to national and local restrictions at the time.