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CNO Bulletin July 2022


A message from the CNO - Tracy Brigstock

Welcome to July’s issue of the CNO Bulletin.

This month, there’s one focus which I’m happy to shine a big spotlight on the incredible development journeys which some of our colleagues have undertaken at the Trust, which I hope will light the spark within you to explore what those next steps in your career might look like.

There are examples for you to read from our Neonatal and Midwifery teams to Critical Care and Resuscitation, plus so much more too.

There is also an exciting update about our Pathway to Excellence journey. As many of you will already know, the survey phase of our journey is underway and I’ve been blown away by the incredible creativity which has been on show across the Trust.

This month’s CNO Bulletin will also share our latest Volunteer Spotlight, Research Highlight, and we’ll celebrate the latest DAISY Award honouree too.


In This Issue


Pathway to Excellence Survey Launch

Last week saw the exciting launch of the Pathway Survey, a crucial phase on our journey to Pathway to Excellence® credentialing, an internationally recognised kite mark for centres of nursing and midwifery excellence. All registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates are invited to complete this survey which is now open though to Tuesday, 19th July.

To mark the launch of our survey, we held a series of events across our sites on Tuesday, 28th June. Attended by nursing and midwifery staff from across the organisation, it was an afternoon filled with celebrations, laughter…and cake!

Participation in this online survey enables respondents to affirm the presence of the Pathway Standards throughout our organisation, and is an opportunity for us to celebrate and showcase our professional pride.

The Pathway Survey is for you and about you, in recognition of your incredible work.

You can complete the survey by following this link

Tweet us at @UHCWP2E to join in the celebrations!

If you’d like to find out more about our journey to excellence, please visit our TrustNav page.


Reflections of a Shared Decision Making Council

My name is Lisa Harrison, I have worked for the Trust for 17 years and I have had many different roles in that time, from being HCA to administrative assistant. In my heart patient contact and helping others was what I am best at.

I am the Deputy Chair of the Acute Medicine Shared Decision Making Council. Although we’ve had our successes, it certainly hasn’t been without its challenges along the way. We’ve really focused on staff engagement and supporting small activities for staff wellbeing. After the pandemic when our morale has been low, with different pressures which were out of our control, there were times I wanted to give up, but talking to other council members and chairs about this, they made me feel that I should  keep trying, motivating me to keep striving for excellence. The council recently held an Acute Medicine bake off, to raise funds for our future wellbeing projects.

My saying when I feel low is “what have you done today to make you feel proud?”

We all contribute to excellent patient care and a positive work environment and we should be proud of it, I know it’s silly, but give it a go - it works!

Getting to Know Our Nursing Team

My Neonatal Journey - Karen Sidgwick

I commenced my neonatal journey in July 2000; I started as a nursery nurse working at the special care baby unit in Warwick. Whilst working in Warwick, I was given many opportunities to experience the role and daily job of a neonatal nurse, the team at Warwick would involve me in admitting and discharging neonates, allowed me to work alongside them within the high dependency area of the unit whilst undertaking all my own roles and duties of a nursery nurse. With this found experience it was whilst I worked there I decided to apply to undertake my nurse training.

I commenced my training to be an adult nurse in 2004 and continued to work 7.5hrs a week at Warwick, I completed my nurse training in Feb 2007, and was fortunate to be offered a job as a newly qualified nurse on the Neonatal unit at UHCW. Within my first year here I was placed onto the qualified in speciality course and completed this successfully in 2008, thus allowing me to work independently as an intensive care nurse within the intensive care part of the unit.                

I have been on many study days and courses including IV study days, neonatal resuscitation, mentor and assessing neonatal bereavement care, and many more courses and study days to enhance my knowledge and skills which are required when caring for the neonate. I am a mentor for newly qualified nurses, nurses undertaking the QIS course and current nursing students and help to support new staff arriving to the unit.

Throughout my time at UHCW, I became a band 6 neonatal nurse and after access to management courses I was successfully appointed as a band 7 co-ordinator three years ago.

Throughout my neonatal journey I have helped to care and support many families on their neonatal journey, I have a particular interest in developing family centred care and empowering families to feel confident when caring for their new-born baby, I am currently undertaking a course called FINE 2 (family and infant neurodevelopmental education). I run a parent support group on Facebook which is a successful group allowing parents to ask questions and gain support from other families which may have been on the neonatal journey.

Working within the neonatal unit I have been given many opportunities to undertake a variety of courses which have been of particular interest to myself and have helped me to develop skills and knowledge to be able to provide a high standard of care. I have been nominated for two daisy awards and I was awarded one of them. I have been lucky enough to have numerous Oscar awards and have received appreciation cards from colleagues and families I have cared for over my time on the unit.


MSc Shortened Midwifery Programme – Sarah Fisher

I started the shortened midwifery programme in 2010 after 5 years as a qualified nurse in Cardiothoracics. It was obviously a very different speciality, however midwifery is underpinned by many of the same core values of a nursing. The 18 month MSc Shortened Midwifery Programme guides you into the realms of a new profession, providing holistic care for mothers and their families. This is right from pre conception through to the postnatal period, working closely as the name suggests ‘with woman’ acting as her advocate throughout the pregnancy and beyond. During the programme your clinical skills and knowledge are enhanced to work autonomously as a midwife, providing the best evidence based care. Being dual registered enables me personally to work confidently with complex pregnancies and many different health conditions in modern midwifery. It was the best choice ever for me, it is the most amazing vocation , I enjoy every moment empowering women and supporting families in every aspect of the journey. I will always be a Nurse and never forget my roots - they only enrich my practice, but midwifery has my heart.


Nursing on General Critical Care – Lee Watkins

I began my career in care late in life, starting out as a Health Care Assistant on General Critical Care in March 2011 aged 41. Unless you have been exposed to an Intensive Care Unit before it can be a frightening and completely alien environment. With the support of the incredible team on GCC I began to settle and flourish in the role I had undertaken, secretly harbouring ambitions to one day be part of the nursing team.

While working full-time I managed to complete a Higher National Diploma in care provision at UHCW and also a Nursing Degree Access course at Warwickshire College. This in turn enabled me to successfully apply for a Nursing Degree at Coventry University. I was fortunate to be one of the last HCA’s to be seconded by UHCW and so began my Nursing Degree in September 2015. Following a challenging but rewarding 3 years at University losing my Dad to cancer in my final year I finally graduated with a 2:1 in Nursing in August 2018.

So in October 2018 my nursing career began back where it had all started on GCC here at UHCW. Nursing can be one of the most challenging roles any person can undertake. I have only succeeded in my role as a Band 5 nurse on GCC because of the incredible people I have and continue to work with and be inspired by. Every day is a challenge when caring for a critically ill patient but teamwork and support gets us through each shift. With half of my nursing career having taken place during a pandemic no one could have foreseen the challenges we have faced as individuals and as nurses. I’m proud to be a nurse, proud to work for the NHS and eternally grateful to everyone who has a supported me on my journey so far.


The Nursing Associate role – Sarah Masterson

I started my career at UHCW in 2013 as a band 2 Health Care Assistant on an Acute Medical Ward. I had no previous experience apart from caring for my young family but was very keen and excited for a new challenge. I learnt all my basic patient care needs and it wasn’t long until I expanded my knowledge and my skills. I completed all the training I could which included venepuncture and completing my NVQ 3. As I developed my skills and knowledge, I gained an interest in caring for patients with Dementia, so when a 6-month secondment for a band 3 HCA role on ward 20 a Care of the Elderly ward vacancy was advertised I thought this would be a brilliant opportunity for me.

I Joined Ward 20 in 2015 as a band 3 HCA this role gave me the opportunity to teach and share my knowledge and skills that I had learnt from being a Dementia link worker.

In 2016 I took on a new innovative role as a health screener for staff this was a health screen to calculate their cardiovascular risk. This role had many different challenges that I had not yet had in my career, educating individuals on their health, teaching and signposting them how to improve or make changes. This is when I realised that there was some much more I could learn and apply to my career and started to grow an interest in education.

 At this point I received exciting information regarding a new national initiative, this was the Nursing Associate role. I would be able to attend university one day a week and be on placement for my remaining hours withing my current clinical area. This sounded a perfect way for me to progress my career. I applied immediately. I was fortunate to be offered a place and I started my 2 years as a Trainee Nursing Associate on ward 21. Going back to personal education had its challenges trying to balance work life and home life but with the support of my colleagues I managed this. Being at university was my biggest challenge to date but also one of the most rewarding, consolidating all the learning and the theory behind things I had done in practice for years. Completing my foundation degree has been one of my proudest moments and I am still so grateful for the opportunity.

After graduating in 2019 I remained on ward 21. This helped me consolidate all the learning into practice with the support of my colleagues. Within a year of qualifying, we were then hit by the pandemic and like most wards our ward soon changed to a Covid positive ward, although this was very challenging it helped me grow as a nursing associate. During this time, I was involved in various education update teaching related to new covid guidelines. This helped, me realise how much I enjoyed teaching staff members such as the medical student when they came to our wards to work throughout the pandemic So, when the Assistant Resuscitation Practitioner role was advertised, I thought that this would be an ideal opportunity to expand my knowledge in resuscitation and follow one of my passions of teaching.

I Joined the resuscitation team in 2020 as the first nursing associate to take on an extended role as an assistant resuscitation practitioner. I am immensely proud to have this innovative opportunity and to have enjoyed helping to develop the scope of the role. I enjoy both clinical and educational aspect of the role, I am able to maintain my clinical skills as a nursing associate and continue to have direct patient care. This allows me to maintain credibility for when I am practising the educational part of my role teaching AED and Immediate Life support. I strongly believe that educating staff has a positive effect and improves patient care. I am very lucky to work in such a diverse team with different career backgrounds, who continually support each other, while inherently practicing the trust values. I am so happy in my role and look forward to all the progression I still can make in this role with the support of manger and the rest of team. I feel so proud to be part of the resuscitation service and work alongside such enthusiastic, passionate, and supportive colleagues.

I feel very privileged and grateful for all of the learning opportunities the trust has supported me with, and the progression this has allowed me in my career. I’m very thankful to all of the staff that have supported me on my way.


A city of dreams called Mumbai – Gishi Sashidharan

I was bought up in a city of dreams called Mumbai, India. Though I come from South India, Mumbai holds a special place in my heart because this is where I learnt to dream and life skills to achieve them. I get the privilege to be mother to a wonderful 7 year old boy, Jaze.

I completed my nursing degree in south India in the year 2011. Fourth year of nursing, we had posting in a neonatal unit, as a part of our curriculum, and I absolutely fell in love with the kind of work that happens there. In my heart, I knew that this is where I wanted to develop my career. Soon after, I started my job as a neonatal nurse in a primary unit. This is where I gained a lot of basic knowledge of looking after these tiny miracles. In a couple of years’ time, I had my own little baby and my passion and dedication to my work augmented further. I started working in a tertiary unit and was exposed to complex and dynamic procedures in the world of neonates. I enjoyed learning in depth about the subject and would leave no stone unturned to grasp any and every learning opportunity to increase my knowledge further. To broaden my horizons, I decided to come to the UK and expose myself to the work done here in a neonatal unit.

I reached UK in the month of March 2019. I started working in the neurology unit at UHCW and cleared my OSCE. While there, in those 4 months, I got nominated for the Practice Supervisor award. I spoke to my manager there about my passion and desire to join the neonatal unit and she recognized my passion and supported my internal transfer.  I vividly remember the first day at the neonatal unit. It was another dream come true. With little base that I had on the subject and help of efficient practice educators and colleagues in the unit, learning was an immensely enjoyable experience. I did my Qualified in Specialty (Neonatal) course with Coventry University, sponsored by my Unit and the experience was beyond awakening. I was able to achieve distinction in that course. It was interesting to see the rationale behind everything we do on the unit. Soon after the course, I involved myself in a survey headed by our lead consultant on a rare skin condition, and we submitted an abstract, which got selected as a poster in a national conference, Neonatal Nurses association. I had also submitted another abstract and poster on a subject, very close to my heart, Intimate partner Violence, for which I was selected as a speaker for the same national conference where I spoke on the importance of recognizing abuse and reporting it and its adverse effects on children witnessing abuse.

 When I found myself ready to take up more responsibilities, I applied for a band 6 job at my unit and cleared it. I believe it was the passion for my work along with ardent desire to teach which helped me towards the interview preparation. I have always felt tremendous joy in sharing what little knowledge I gain.  Recently, I challenged myself further by joining the EPR team as a subject matter expert. I absolutely love the learning it provides and the fact that this is going to be a major change to the way we document patient records and feel extremely proud to be part of. In accomplishing these milestones, I have very often gratefully looked at how wonderful have been the opportunities provided to me in this Trust in the form of education, the culture of knowledge transfer and an attitude of acceptance to positive changes which has helped me, an individual who has come from another country to progress and make good of my nursing vows. I consider myself blessed by the Almighty for the valuable opportunities I have received here, in the form of well supporting managers, well informed mentors and encouraging colleagues and I look forward to continuing learning, imparting knowledge and progressing in my career further and achieve my maximum potential and be a good resource to others.


Showcase Event for our new Electronic Patient Record


We want you to come along and see, touch and feel our new Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and be part of the transformation of services for our patients and people.

Staff from all over UHCW have been working for months to design and develop our new EPR. We are now delighted to invite you to a series of demonstrations and breakout sessions for you to see what our future EPR will look like, taking place from Monday 8th August to Friday 12th August 2022.

What you can expect:

  • Watch demonstrations of five different patient journeys that illustrate how we will support improved patient management and care and highlight the main benefits of our new EPR
  • Choose to attend breakout sessions that go into further depth in specialist clinical and non-clinical areas and focus on the differences in use by various roles across our staff
  • Have the opportunity to validate the new work pathways
  • Learn how your staff can be more involved over the next 12 months of the implementation
  • Review what your colleagues have been working on and have an opportunity to ask questions about the impact to your working practice ahead of first round testing in September

To learn more about the EPR Showcase Event and the agenda for each day, click through to the Showcase Event page on TrustNav.

If you’d like to learn more about our EPR programme, visit our TrustNav page.


Research and Development at West Midlands Clinical Research Network Awards

Rob Klimek picked up the Wellbeing prize for his work during the pandemic sending out weekly wellbeing emails, information on topics raised by staff and signposting to sources of advice and guidance.

In addition, UHCW received the Clinical Research Network's (CRN) Operational Excellence in Research Award in acknowledgement of the work undertaken during the pandemic and post-pandemic period and for continually improving current research activities and processes.

The CRN acknowledged how the Trust ‘worked with the Network and partners to help us achieve our strategic objectives and ensure we can meet the ever-changing needs of our population through research, whilst managing competing demands’.

Our Covid-19 Research Team were highly commended in the Collaboration in Research category for their multi-disciplinary, cross speciality work on urgent public health studies such as RECOVERY, SIREN, ISARIC and Valneva.

In the battle to be Chief Investigator of the Year, Professor Ramesh Arasaradnam was highly commended for leading National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) portfolio studies in gastroenterology such as RECEDE and CESCAIL and for the IONIC study combining drugs and anti-viral therapy to treat patients with long Covid.


Pharma Times International Clinical Researcher of the Year 2022 for Clinical Site Team

Congratulations to the NIHR (National Institute of Health Research) Coventry & Warwickshire Clinical Research Facility (CRF) – based at UHCW – for picking up a silver prize in a leading research awards.

The team of CRF Delivery Manager Tracy Gazeley, Senior Research Governance Facilitator Claire Finnie and Senior Research Nurse Eleanor Sear were shortlisted in the Clinical Site Team category at the PharmaTimes International Clinical Researcher of the Year Awards.

While they were pipped to gold by Sussex and Surrey Healthcare NHS Trust, the silver award recognised the CRF Team’s extensive knowledge of clinical research and their ability to work as a team to deliver excellence in the setting up and conduct of clinical trials.

The CRF Team have demonstrated this over the last few years through their involvement in a number of ‘firsts’ at UHCW; including conducting UHCW’s first Phase One study and first in-human study, and working as part of the UHCW Covid-19 Research Team to deliver the Trust’s first vaccine study. 


Daisy Award – July 2022

Summer has announced its arrival with lovely sunshine and an abundance of Daisies, which is a wonderful reminder of the prestigious DAISY Awards at UHCW recognising the outstanding care offered by our Midwives and Nurses.

Our celebrations reached new heights when, for the first time ever, Claire Wise, Ward 15, became the first nurse in the entire Trust to have received a staggering 3rd DAISY Award!

Massive congratulations to Claire and to our other latest DAISY Honourees:

  • Nicola Read (Ward 23)
  • Laura Weston (Ward 21)
  • Sharon Hollyoak (Palliative Care Team)
  • Raquel Pinheiro (Ward 53)

Reflecting on her DAISY award, Raquel Pinheiro said: “I still don’t believe this has happened to me. I feel so honoured and actually speechless. I’ve been reflecting a lot over this episode and this is such an honour. It has made my mood happier and I’m wearing my pin proudly.

Could you be the next DAISY Award Honouree?


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