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CNO Bulletin December 2022


A Message From the CNO – Tracey Brigstock

Welcome to December’s issue for the CNO Bulletin.

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your incredible hard work and commitment over the last 12 months. I also want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

In this edition, I would like to share details of some ways the Trust can help you during these incredibly difficult winter months. Our People Support and Chaplaincy teams have been working with local community groups to see how we can help best support colleagues, including food hub vouchers, meal cards, free sanitary products and more.

This month, I’m thrilled to welcome contributions from invaluable members of our Shared Decision-Making Councils including Subie Wurie, Research Sister, and Tom Mason, the Chair of Theatres’ SDM Council.

I would also like to thank Ilaria Harrison, Michelle Hartanto, Dr Emma Murphy and Anne Hirons for contributing to December’s CNO Bulletin.


In This Issue


Money Matters, You Matter

At UHCW, we want to make sure everyone has the support they need, whether it be physical, emotional or financial.

Our People Support and Chaplaincy teams have been working with local community groups to see how we can help best support the financial wellbeing of TeamUHCW.

A new range of schemes have been launched - designed to help colleagues across the Trust who may be struggling:

Food Hub Vouchers

Pre-paid vouchers are available for staff to use at Community Food Hubs across Coventry.  Vouchers can be collected from the People Support Team, Chaplaincy Team, CSB Reception and Brookfield House at St Cross.  Our main hub is based at Henley Green Community Grub Hub Coventry, however a full list of Community Hubs are available.

Simply choose your Food Hub, present the voucher on arrival and a staff member from the food hub will help you choose your groceries. We will take care of the rest.

Meal Cards for Staff Restaurants

Discreet and confidential support is available for colleagues unable to prioritise funds to eat whilst at work.  Vouchers can be collected from the People Support Team, Chaplaincy Team or CSB Reception and Brookfield House at St Cross.

Food options are:

  • Breakfast - Porridge or toast x 2 with either beans or egg
  • Lunch - Soup and a roll or Jacket potato + 1 filling
  • Evening - Jacket potato + 1 filling

Simply present your voucher at the till at UH Main Restaurant, CSB Restaurant and Poplar Place Restaurant at St Cross.

Free sanitary products

Take what you need, when you need it. Antibacterial bags can be found in all staff toilets across University Hospitals and St Cross containing a variety of sanitary products available for colleagues to access when required.

Direct Access to Financial Advice

Our Employee Assistance Programme provides support to reduce financial stress and help you save for the future. The support and wellbeing section of your benefits portal gives you access to a handy app that enables you to compare fuel prices to find the cheapest options in your area - helping you save over £220/year! Ask Bill has also been launched and provides free and impartial money advice - including tips on how to reduce utility bills, manage money and deal with debt issues. Angel Advance is also available to support you by providing online debt advice, helping you get back on track and make your finances more manageable. Start exploring your benefits and discover how they can help you with the cost of living by visiting or contact the helpline on 0800 023 9324 - access 24/7, 365 days a year.

Savings or offers are subject to change.

Community Pantry

Donate what you can, and take what you need.

These are available for staff who may need to access food and have no other means to do so.

Colleagues are invited to donate non-perishable food that will be collected at drop off zones located at CSB, Faith Centre and Poplar Place Restaurant at St. Cross.

Available from 19 December, pantries will be open to colleagues who need access to food should they need it, and are based in the Rotunda Rest n Recharge Space at UH and Octapus Centre at St. Cross.  Any excess stock will be donated to support local community food banks.

For further information about the initiatives mentioned above or support available to you, please contact the People Support Team on x24760 or at


Covid-19 and Flu vaccination campaign (Anne Hirons)

As you are already aware, October 2022 saw the commencement of the annual flu vaccination campaign for all front-line healthcare workers and the Covid Autumn Booster campaign. I would like to express my thanks to those who have taken time out to have your vaccination; supporting your teams to have their vaccinations; and releasing staff in your area to undertake the important role of peer vaccinator.

Vaccination is still the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus. As social contact returns to pre-pandemic norms, there is likely to be a resurgence in influenza activity in Winter 2022-23 to levels similar to, or higher than before the pandemic and Flu will also be co-circulating alongside Covid. I am therefore once again calling upon your support in help to boost the numbers of nursing, midwifery and AHP colleagues that have their vaccination to protect themselves, our patients and our families.

Staff can attend drop-in clinics (see intranet for clinic location, dates, and times) where both vaccines can be received on the same day although if preferred can have on different days. You can also book your appointment to have your flu vaccination in the Occupational Health Clinic if preferred. The exception being Over 65’s who can just drop into Occupational Health during normal office hours and I would ask you to support the campaign by releasing your staff for 5-10 minutes to receive their vaccination.  Peer vaccinators are also available if you do not know who your local peer vaccinator is please email who will support you with this.

We know some colleagues may have already had their vaccinations outside of the Trust (through their GP, Pharmacist, or another NHS Organisation) but we are not aware of this and therefore cannot include in our national reporting. This is a simple process, colleagues simply needing to drop an email to informing the Trust you have had elsewhere.

If you have any queries about the campaign and would like further support in your area, please contact, Alison Evans Interim Head of Occupational Health Services.

Finally, I would like to express my thanks once again for the support you have shown already to this year’s campaign and the actions you will continue to take to ensure we are protecting our staff and patients.


Research and Development’s Shared Decision-Making Council (Subie Wurie)

Having worked in the field of gastroenterology for the past eight years, I developed a passion for research and evidence-based practice, with a particular focus on improving outcomes for people with bowel care. In my current role as research sister and National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Good Clinical Practice (GCP) facilitator within Research and Development (R&D) I lead as a study coordinator in both commercial and non-commercial trials.

Through direct feedback from R&D staff with the support of my line manager Nic Aldridge, I recognised the need for an informal peer-led research group, where research colleagues could meet to discuss and discover research opportunities and feel empowered in learning. In October 2022, we (Research Council Team) set up and led the relaunch development of a regular Research Café (Reset and Restart) with the aim of encouraging an atmosphere where staff can build self-esteem and confidence in research through peer support and with inspirational speakers. The Research Café runs every three months and has generated positive feedback and interest from colleagues.

Alongside this, the People Support Team supported the Research café with a well-being offer of the ‘Laughtercise’ and a short session on managing stress, complimenting the vision purpose to improve emotional health, well-being, and sense of belonging within the research team. This was well received and evaluated highly by colleagues “an excellent event, well hosted, well executed and it was great for team building and stress management”.

Following this, we developed the Research Council, a co-creation with the Research Café hosted as a spotlight for all research staff to benefit from the Research Café sessions. The Research Council is a shared decision-making (SDM) forum supported by the trust’s SDM team, to create partnerships around decision-making within R&D’s clinical and core practices alongside staff development. The Research Council members are Subie Wurie (Chair), Charlie Bevan (Deputy Chair), Vicky Sturgess, Dawn Davies, Abi Jose, Louise McErlean, Harriet Cummins, and Manju Sunny.

The council's first task is to improve the visibility of Research and Development within University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW).  The importance of showcasing the excellent clinical research being conducted at UHCW will help make clinical research and its staff more visible and encourage staff and patients to get involved in the various clinical research trials being delivered so they can better understand the benefits research can offer.

We plan to focus on embracing Health and Wellness Awareness International or World Day within different disease specialties that are organised to spread awareness and support in research. The Research Council will be putting constructive measures or plans in place to align with these upcoming days in 2023 to raise awareness for research within the different clinical groups. We plan to visit wards or clinical areas via drop-in sessions and shout-out sessions within the Clinical Sciences Building (CSB) to raise staff engagement and our research profile within the trust, supported by Sponsor Nic Aldridge, R&D Lead Nurse, Dr Emma Murphy – Associate Clinical Professor in Nursing at the Centre for Care Excellence at UHCW and Coventry University and Tracy Gazeley Coventry & Warwickshire Clinical Research Facility Delivery Manager. 

The Research Council’s vision is to improve research staff satisfaction, emotional health & well-being and create a shared partnership within R&D to make decisions about clinical practice, staff development, and research.

If you would like to get involved or find out more about the Research Café or the Research Council, please contact (


Theatres’ Shared Decision-Making (Tom Mason)

Shared decision-making councils (SDMC) often focus on the wellbeing of the staff they represent, however, often a lack of focus is given to the wellbeing of the members of the SDMC. This is because meetings often follow rigid, formal structures, and occur in the department the members belong to, where it is often difficult to switch off from the bustling work environment. Personally, I am of the opinion that this idea of running the council could be improved, allowing for a more relaxed, friendly and member-wellbeing focused environment.

For example, in October 2022, the theatres SDMC began holding our meetings in the morning, in the CSB café, allowing for members to attend out of uniform, and have breakfast, in an environment that is not directly linked to our place of work. This allowed for a more open discussion, as there was no clear hierarchy among council members due to work uniform, which allowed for a more honest, open, and informal discussion. In my opinion, the atmosphere of this meeting was night and day compared to our previous meetings, as council members were relaxed and happy which resulted in everyone participating and giving their ideas, feelings, and constructive feedback.

As members of the theatre department, our winter days are often spent missing the daylight, and so having a meeting in an environment that allowed us to enjoy the morning was beneficial to our mental wellbeing. This meeting allowed us to produce one of our best ideas yet as a council, and this is to highlight international staff by focusing on their cultures and holidays as a department, which would allow us to show our appreciation and give something back to our colleagues, as well as being introduced to a range of different cultures and their significant holidays, allowing for representation and celebration of our multinational team.


Centre for Care Excellence Inspiration Day: clinical academic developments in Nephrology Nursing (Dr Emma Murphy)

At the first Centre for Care Excellence (CfCE) ‘Inspiration Day’ in October 2022, Dr Emma Murphy, Associate Clinical Professor in Nephrology Nursing at the CfCE, and Steven Wise Renal Nurse Specialist spoke on the topic ‘Leading change through inclusive and collaborative research’ highlighting exemplars of clinical academic activity within renal services at UHCW. The event brought together Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals from both UHCW and Coventry University to share knowledge and showcase research, practice and innovations that are making a real difference to patient care.

Emma has 28 years of clinical experience in Nephrology Nursing and leads research at the interface between nephrology and palliative care, with a particular focus on improving outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Following nursing studies at King’s College London, she was awarded a National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre Doctoral fellowship at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.  She graduated with a PhD in Palliative Medicine at King’s College London and obtained a post-doctoral NIHR Clinical Lectureship in 2015.

Emma described a UK research programme underway to provide robust evidence for decision-making in advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). The increase in dialysis in recent decades has been greatest among older people, many of whom are frail with complex comorbidities, and while dialysis extends life for some, the associated quality of life and survival benefits are uncertain. The talk explored the conundrum that exists for patients regarding the choice between dialysis and conservative kidney care (comprising all aspects of nephrology and supportive care without dialysis). To make these decisions, patients and clinicians have had to rely on evidence from small observational studies with all of the associated biases. She highlighted the need for more evidence, particularly in those aged 75+ and emphasised the importance of focusing research on what matters most to patients, quality of life and symptoms. 

The studies (open and recruiting at UHCW) presented address two areas: 1) the comparative effectiveness of dialysis and conservative care in frail older people with multiple health conditions - The Prepare for Kidney Care study, a randomised controlled trial led by Professor Fergus Caskey at the University of Bristol (Murphy et al, Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 2020) and 2) variations in the quality of care, preferences, and outcomes for people who opt for dialysis - The NIHR QUALYCARE Kidney Study (Chief Investigator Dr Emma Murphy). As a result of these studies, patients and clinicians will have more evidence on which to base decisions about future care, treatments, and their quality-of-life impacts.

This innovative research is grounded in patients’ unanswered questions, demonstrating the synergy between clinical and academia. This is also building capacity and capability within the renal setting.  Steven described his own clinical academic experience, he was successful in obtaining a Clinical Research Network (CRN) West Midlands Personal Development award, supported by the CfCE. This award has given him the opportunity to explore his interest in the relationship between frailty and CKD. Steven is the Associate Principal Investigator on the Prepare for Kidney Care study, providing him with practical experience about what conducting clinical trials entails. He is developing his research path to include a PhD and continue on his clinical academic career trajectory.

Emma described the new evidence-based clinical service at UHCW, a nurse-led symptom management clinic and dialysis symptom rounds, delivering nephrology and palliative care interventions; holistic assessment; early discussions about preferences and priorities; use of validated measures of symptoms and quality-of-life to enable collaborative decision-making with tailored follow up and support.  Emma emphasised the importance of understanding this phase of patient management, not only to provide optimal care for individuals but also to aid the planning of services to support patients and provide a basis for further research. 

If you would like to know more about the renal studies, clinical service, or clinical academic careers contact

To find out more about how the Centre for Care Excellence is empowering Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals at every level across both organisations to be able to develop ideas to make ‘patient first’ improvements - watch the CfCE film below.


The Developing Aspiring Leaders (DAL) programme through NHS England (Michelle Hartanto)

I am currently in the Developing Aspiring Leaders (DAL) programme through NHS England.

The DAL programme supports leadership development for aspiring nursing and midwifery leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds. It combines the Mary Seacole Programme, masterclasses, a stretch assignment, and mentoring with my executive sponsor for comprehensive and holistic leadership development, with safe and compassionate delivery of patient care at the forefront.

I'm thankful to have the support of Tracey Brigstock, my executive sponsor on the programme, and the Resuscitation team and managers who have been supportive of my professional development and learning. Two months into the programme, the DAL programme is already stretching the way I think and influencing my practice.

Through the Mary Seacole Programme and masterclasses I am learning about leadership responsibilities including executive and Trust Board oversight, systems, policy, strategy, and organisational culture. I am developing a better understanding of systems and mechanisms across UHCW and learning to think at a system level. The Mary Seacole programme is also increasing my awareness and understanding of strategy and policy, and how we as nurses and midwives can get involved and influence policy at local, regional, and national levels.

The DAL programme is supporting the development of my leadership skills and leadership style, so that I can better support our colleagues at UHCW. The programme includes a reflection on my own leadership style, how this impacts others, and how it influences team dynamics and relationships. I found the introspection very valuable. During our day-to-day work it's easy to get caught up in our own thoughts and feelings and focus on how others made us feel; it's quite daunting to realise the impact we can have on others and the sense of responsibility that accompanies it. We can shape someone's experience into a positive or negative one, and set the tone and influence how groups behave and interact.

This self-awareness is shaping my development as a Shared Decision-Making Council (SDM) Chair. As an SDM Chair I strive to foster a positive practice environment where Council members engage in shared decision-making, feel empowered to shape Trust-wide ReSPECT practice, participate in quality improvement activities, and feel professional satisfaction and pride. I hope through reflection of my leadership style, self-awareness of how it impacts and motivates others, and purposeful utilisation of SDM/collaborative leadership I will positively impact our members of the ReSPECT SDM Council so they feel supported and empowered.

Through the stretch assignment, a project beyond my current knowledge and skill level, I am "stretching" developmentally to learn and grow. I am currently in the scoping stage of a project to support our internationally-educated colleagues at UHCW. I was initially a bit daunted by the idea of meeting experts and staff from departments across the Trust I'd never previously worked closely with, but I'm very happy to share that it's been an incredible experience working outside of my comfort zone. It's been great to understand the roles and responsibilities of various teams and learn about their projects and workstreams. Everyone has been so supportive and enthusiastic, offering their ideas, support, and time, and sharing resources. It's been heartwarming to see so many experts and leads offer their support and want to work together on a project to support our staff!

I will use the learning from the programme to support our colleagues at UHCW; I will promote inclusion and workforce diversity, and support all staff including those from BAME backgrounds and/or are internationally-educated. Through reciprocal mentoring with Tracey, we have open discussions and discuss my lived experience as an internationally-educated staff member from a minority ethnic background. These topics can sometimes feel uncomfortable, but it's great to have these types of conversations. By opening the door for this dialogue we can become an even more understanding and inclusive organisation.

I'm grateful for how much the Developing Aspirant Leaders programme in two short months has showed me how much I can grow when I push myself out of my comfort zone, and I'm excited to keep learning and growing! 


Helen Eftekhari honoured at British Heart Foundation’s Heart Hero Awards

Our British Heart Foundation Cardiology Nursing Fellow Helen Eftekhari has been honoured for her outstanding work.

Helen was the winner of the Healthcare Hero prize at the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Hero Awards thanks to her work in setting up and running a specialist Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) clinic.

PoTS is an abnormal increase in heart rate that occurs after sitting up or standing and is most common in girls and women aged 15 to 50.

“I feel very humbled and grateful to the person who nominated me,” said Helen, who is also a BHF research fellow at the University of Warwick undertaking a PhD looking at better ways to support people with PoTS.

“Although it’s an individual award it’s not really about an individual, it’s really about the team behind you.

“You couldn’t do what you do without the support of your colleagues, but it’s nice to know that you’re making a difference to people’s lives, and I do feel passionate about raising more awareness of PoTS.”

The ceremony in London was hosted by Vernon Kay and Helen picked up her award from TV and radio presenter Will Njobvu.


First-ever Coventry and Warwickshire Perinatal Mental Health Stars Awards (Ilaria Harrison)

By Your Side is a local charity set up to offer peer support to mothers who struggle with perinatal mental illness. Last Thursday, it was an honour for members of our Maternity department and our Tommy’s research department to attend the first ever Coventry and Warwickshire Perinatal Mental Health Stars Awards, organised by By Your Side.

Nominations for the awards came from both patients and colleagues and those shortlisted were from a variety of disciplines including psychiatry, midwifery, family nurse partnership, IAPT, arts and journaling facilitators and many more. No less than 4 of our members of staff had been shortlisted for awards for their incredible contribution to supporting women’s mental health and improving the service provision at the Trust; Alaine Holland – Substance and Alcohol Misuse Specialist Midwife; Marjorie Dalrymple – Community Midwife; Natalie Morris – Health Care Assistant for Tommy’s and Pre-Term Prevention and myself Ilaria Harrison – Complex Continuity Team Midwife. It was a humbling evening to hear all the moving nominations read aloud and to feel the passion in the room for championing perinatal mental health care.

One of the awards of the evening was dedicated to Michela Rolando, one of our midwifery colleagues from SWFT who sadly lost her life to perinatal mental illness. I am very pleased to say that I was the proud winner of that award as our Trust Advanced Midwife Practitioner for Mental Health. Over the past 3 years I have worked to set up our mental health midwifery clinics in which we now provide continuity of care for approximately 100 women. I work in an integrated way with our perinatal mental health team of psychologists and psychiatrists and, along with my team, we are streamlining physical and mental healthcare services for these ladies


DAISY Awards: Lisa Washington and Marichelle Bermudez

Congratulations to our two latest DAISY Award honourees, Lisa Washington and Marichelle Bermudez.

The awards, funded by UHCW Charity, celebrate the skilful and compassionate care our nurses and midwives provide on a daily basis.

Gynaecology Specialist Nurse Lisa’s nomination read: “Lisa put me at ease and explained everything thoroughly and constantly reassured me that she was there for me if I had any worries or concerns.

“She was warm and friendly and, although some of the information was difficult to hear, she explained everything, and I felt reassured.

"Similarly, she put me totally at ease during a previous appointment and really listened which helped me get things off my chest. People like Lisa really do make the world go round.”

Marichelle’s nomination read: “Marichelle looked after my father on a few occasions. My father had severe dementia and was non-verbal, he was completely dependent on us for everything.

"It was so difficult for all concerned every time he was admitted. Marichelle provided constant support to my father and our family. Her warm, affectionate, pleasant nature was greatly appreciated.

"I can't thank Marichelle enough for her compassion, professionalism and just being an all-round lovely human being, she's a credit to Ward 42 and our NHS."

Congratulations to you both!


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