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CNO Bulletin June 2021

A message from the CNO - Professor Nina Morgan

Welcome to June's issue of the CNO Bulletin. This month, we're looking forward to celebrating with our invaluable team of volunteers to celebrate National Volunteer Week from 1st - 7th June. I also want to highlight some of the selfless work you do outside the Trust, sharing the stories of our fantastic colleagues who go above and beyond in their spare time in the community.

We will share future opportunites for our staff to get involved in volunteering, including the valuable Compassionate Communities, before moving on to some of your favourite, regular features in the CNO Bulletin like our latest DAISY Award winners, updates from across the Trust and some stand out social media activity across the last month.

In this issue

Guest Introduction: Kristine Davis, Head of Voluntary Services 

June 2021 marks the 37th National Volunteers Week. Volunteers Week is a time to say thanks and to recognise the fantastic contribution our volunteers make. This week we have shared stories on some of our volunteers and we have held our Annual Long Service Awards. Nina and Andy presented our longest serving volunteer with his 50 Years’ Service Award. Other volunteers received awards for five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years’ service totalling a massive 290 years’ service.

It goes without saying that volunteers have played a key role in our response to the pandemic. 
Firstly, let’s rewind to the beginning of March 2020 when across our two sites we had over 700 volunteers. Volunteers were providing support to our staff and patients in a variety of roles, such as:

  • Meeting and greeting
  • Mealtime Companions 
  • Support for the Dying Companions
  • Mental Well-being Companions
  • Chaplaincy Visitors
  • Alcohol Liaison Support
  • Complementary Therapy and Pets as Therapy
  • Play Assistant
  • Dementia Buddy
  • Compassionate Communities
  • Drinks Trolley 
  • Administration
  • Holding patients hands in theatres at St Cross

Within only a few weeks that number plummeted to double figures! Many stepped down from duty preferring to stay home to protect themselves and their loved ones. Then we reached a point where we had to send our over 70’s volunteers home that were still actively volunteering. 

During an exceptionally difficult year, we have been overwhelmed by our community’s response to the pandemic. We’ve recruited and trained over 400 new volunteers some of which are now employed by UHCW and UHCW Charity.

Our volunteer response to the pandemic saw us create news roles to support our patients and staff including:

  • Supporting our critical care staff with donning and doffing
  • Providing Clinical Support volunteers on our wards
  • Delivering PPE
  • Cleaning equipment 
  • Transport service for patients on the Green Pathway
  • Meet and Greet service in the Covid Vaccination Clinics
  • Supporting UHCW Charity with donations and Staff Care boxes

One of our Clinical Support volunteers sent us the following note when she left to concentrate on her studies: “I would really like to thank you and the volunteers team for helping me become a volunteer, and I would be extremely appreciative if you could pass on my thanks to ward 20.

"They are an exceptional ward and I feel very lucky to have worked with everyone there. They were very welcoming and I loved helping on Wednesday mornings. I will really miss being on the ward. Thank you again.”

None of this would have been possible without the support of my team and the support of the departments receiving volunteers.

Meet the Voluntary Services Team

Please get in touch if you are interested in creating meaningful roles for volunteers within your departments, sharing your experience of volunteers within your departments, would like to become a volunteer, would like to recommend someone you know or if you want to find out more about our service.

We have lots of exciting plans to further develop our service and would be keen to speak to staff to develop a Youth Volunteering Programme to give young people the opportunity to gain an insight into careers in the NHS, this could involve going out to schools to showcase your work or to offer opportunities for young people.

Please contact a member of the team to request support. We can be contacted on:

  • Kristine Davies; Head of Voluntary Services – 25147 /
  • Sukie Dharni; Volunteer Co-ordinator – 25146 / 
  • Cherelle Manning; Volunteer Co-ordinator – 26949 / 
  • Lisa Dunhill; Voluntary Services Administrator – 26156 /

Focus of the Month: Community Volunteering Spotlight

This month’s ‘Community Volunteering Spotlight’ features Jayne Armitage and Sharon Burnell who both work as staff nurses in the Pre-op Assessment Clinic at Hospital of St Cross, Rugby. Lisa Dunn went to meet them to find out about their volunteering activities:

What volunteering work do you help with?

Jayne: “Since December last year we have been volunteering at my local GP surgery in support of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Our volunteering work involves us looking after patients who have just received their vaccine doses to make sure they are safe and well before they leave the practice.”

What made you decide to start volunteering?

Jayne: “My GP surgery put up a notice on Facebook to say they were holding clinics for covid vaccinations and were looking for some volunteers; I replied saying I was happy to support and went along to the first day in our church hall and helped out with looking after the patients for the day. At the end of the first day they announced that they would be running another clinic so I asked if I could bring my friend Sharon along too!”

Sharon: “Yes Jayne is the reason that I got involved! So that’s how it started that the both of us were volunteering together, and we still help out on our days off whenever we are needed.”

What feedback have you had about your volunteering work?

Sharon: “The GP practice has said that without the volunteers they can’t vaccinate the same number of patients because they don’t have enough practice staff, and many patients have commented on social media to say thank you to all of the volunteers who help.”

What are the most rewarding aspects of volunteering?

Jayne: “Our main motivation is patients themselves and seeing their relief when they receive their vaccine. It is important that we are doing our bit to get back to a new normality, and if we are able to do that as quickly as possible then we will have achieved what we wanted to."

Sharon: “Because we are nurses we were able to have our first vaccines quite early, and in addition we also take lateral flow tests twice a week; this has really helped to provide extra reassurance to the patients in terms of minimising their risk when they attend for their vaccines.”

Jayne: “Yes because we have had the vaccine ourselves we can speak from experience, and because I also work extra shifts at the UHCW Covid vaccination Clinic I have first-hand knowledge and experience of the process to be able to reassure patients and answer their questions.”

Do you have any other volunteering projects in the pipeline?

Jayne: “I also volunteer with the British Gymnastics team and have done so for the last for the last 20 years, although there are no events taking place at present due to the pandemic we hope the events will start again in October.”

Sharon: “I’ve now caught the volunteering bug too and have signed up to be a Coventry City of Culture host to help with running some the events, and myself and Jayne are both thinking about signing up to support with the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022!”

Volunteering Opportunities: Compassionate Communities

The Compassionate Communities project is a service led by Simon Betteridge – Lead Chaplain here at UHCW.

It is a volunteer service which enables people from all different backgrounds and walks of life to come together within their community and share experiences through a “story circle”. The service provides people with an opportunity to share and discuss issues that have affected them allowing them to understand a greater sense of their own value, build new friendships and support one another.

This may include support in relation to bereavement, individuals suffering with respiratory difficulties (COPD) and self-management in the community, GP listening as well as Compassionate Cafes for staff and volunteers across both sites at UHCW. 

The project is part of the Community Charter for well-being and is more relevant than ever following experiences over the last year with COVID-19. People are able to come together and share their experiences from a wide variety of perspectives including teenagers. The project is the only one of its kind nationally.

Simon provides training for volunteers who would like to be a part of the project and if anyone would like to be involved please email Simon at:-

National BAME Programme

This month Nina Jaspal, Developmental Cardiac Nurse Practitioner, tells us about her experience with the National BAME programme.

My name is Nina Jaspal and I am a Developmental Cardiac Nurse Practitioner at UHCW, my role includes seeing and assessing patients who present to emergency assessment areas with primary cardiac problems and formulating care plans for these patients. I have been a registered Nurse for nearly 7 years and my experiences have been within cardiology at UHCW and SWFT. I have worked on cardiology wards, a coronary care unit and Catheter Labs. 

My early experiences within cardiology have motivated me to become an autonomous practitioner within the field, being able to carry out evidence based practise to benefit my patients. My career thus far has linked me with inspirational mentors from nurses to doctors that have enabled me to take opportunities to further enhance my knowledge and skills.

This year an opportunity from NHS England presented itself to apply for a position that was open to BAME Aspirant leaders. I was intrigued by the idea of exploring my leadership and management skills further but also saw this as an opportunity to learn and challenge myself by meeting other leaders within the trust but also externally and engaging with them to learn tools and strategies which I can then deploy into practise.  

I believe todays leaders need to be transformational, to be able to think outside the box in terms of the service provision and demand. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many things, including responsiveness, capacity building and strengthened ideals of the NHS. We have also seen the lack of development opportunities for BAME staff and although the BAME movement is forward moving there is still so much more work to be done to achieve equality. I am very excited for this opportunity and hope to encourage others to take opportunities when they present themselves.  UHCW has given this opportunity to BAME staff and I believe it is essential to continue to inspire BAME staff and hopefully through engaging with this programme this will be possible.

IPC – Important Information

As we move into summer and easing of some lockdown restrictions, it is more important than ever that we all maintain hands, face, space IPC precautions during our working day, including break times. A sharp reminder came only last week where there was an outbreak caused by staff not socially distancing during their break.

New variants continue to spread through the population at large and although we may be vaccinated, with high degree of protection, we can still carry and transmit virus from one to another – staff, patients, family.

As we restore our services and increase our footfall across all parts of our organisation, you are strongly urged to take up the vaccine if not already done so and self-test, using a lateral flow device, requesting this  through the trust system or the national system and recording your results.

National guidance re IPC and wearing of PPE in hospital / acute setting - remains unchanged at this time, thank you for your continued leadership and taking personal responsibility for this.

Healthcare Support Workers - Welcome to the Midlands – Virtual Event

A free virtual event for all our HCSWs is being hosted by NHS England & Improvement Midlands on Thursday 17 June 2021 (1-3 pm) via Teams Live. The event will focus on health & wellbeing, career progression , opportunities for development and the importance of HCSW roles.

Getting to Know Our Nursing Team

This month the team interviewed Sarah Hartley, Group Director of Nursing and AHP’s for Trauma & Neuro Services.

Hi Sarah, please tell us a little about your career to date and what led to your current post as Group Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals (GDNA) for Trauma and Neurosciences?

I completed my Nurse training at Coventry School of Nursing (too many years ago now to mention!) and began my career as a newly qualified nurse on Neuro ITU at the old hospital. As part of my post I rotated through the neuro wards as well, to gain a wider perspective of the patient journey.

When we moved over to the new hospital the Neuro ITU amalgamated with other specialities to form General Critical Care. I worked here as Band 7 before ultimately going on to be Clinical Nurse Manager for several years.

I was keen to take the next step in my career so took a Matrons post when the opportunity came up, initially in Respiratory before moving to Trauma and Orthopaedics. Then when the organisation underwent its restructure, the Group Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals role really appealed to me and my clinical background really suited the posting. And now here we are!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Working with my team! I have so much pride for how everyone supports each other.

I also love that every day is a school day and I’ve learnt to expect the unexpected!

I know that a part of your role as a GDNA is to support the trust’s journey to Pathway to Excellence® designation, with a specific focus on staff wellbeing. How have you maintained a focus on wellbeing within Trauma and Neurosciences over the challenging times we’ve all faced over the last year?

It’s been a real time of change and flux for everyone. As a group we’ve really maintained a focus on what we’re proud of. We’ve run lots of events such as “share the love”, “positivity week”, encouraged staff to attend compassion cafes and conducted wellbeing walk-arounds to make sure staff feel supported and know what resources they can access and how.

Communication is paramount in understanding the challenges staff are facing and keeping people up to date on what we’re doing to help. Holding listening events and ongoing support from the Wellbeing Team has been invaluable.

Is there anything that’s particularly brought you joy or helped you deal with all the stresses of lockdown life over the last 12 months?

I’ve had to shield throughout long periods of the pandemic, which has been really challenging at times. Something I found really helpful was to keep to my routine. Although I didn’t need to commute during those periods, I’d use the time to exercise instead, I found it would set me up for a more productive day.

The pride I felt for my team also really kept me going. The collaborative working across the whole group and MDT was really inspiring. And we always made time to smile and laugh, that’s really important.

What would be your most important ‘take away message’ for staff about health and wellbeing at UHCW?

That 'it’s okay not to be okay'.

It’s important to know who you can speak to and what resources you have access to so you can fall back on that support network when you need it.

Research Highlight: Prof Shea Palmer & Centre for Care Excellence Update

Introducing Shea Palmer – Professor of Allied Health

I am proud to be part of the leadership team for the ‘Centre for Care Excellence’ which aims to boost engagement in research and evidence-based practice in Nursing, Midwifery and the Allied Health Professions. 

When I trained as a physiotherapist in Edinburgh, I was lucky enough to be exposed to lots of research during the profession’s transition to honours degree programmes.  We had inspirational research-active lecturers who engendered a questioning mindset throughout our training.  Those of us who completed an extra year for our honours degree ended up doing two research dissertations and I loved every stage of each - refining the question, designing and conducting the research, and analysing and interpreting the findings. I took a one-month research assistant post immediately after graduation and have been involved in research ever since, as a clinician, PhD student and then as an academic. 

Although I have a specialist interest in musculoskeletal disorders, I have worked with some wonderful academics and clinical researchers from a very wide range of professional backgrounds and different clinical specialties. I have a particular interest in the diagnosis, assessment and management of joint hypermobility, an issue that historically has been under-recognised in clinical practice. My research in that area has involved a very wide range of methodologies, including epidemiological, qualitative, survey, laboratory and clinical research. Exposure to lots of different research questions and methods continues to fuel my passion for understanding patients’ experiences, the aetiology of their health conditions, and how as health professionals we can help them to manage those conditions more effectively. 

I am a very experienced supervisor of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral research and helping ideas and people to blossom and flourish is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I count myself very lucky to be part of the process of seeing others publishing their first paper, getting their first grant, securing personal awards, or progressing in their careers. I look forwards to celebrating lots of such successes at UHCW. 

Centre for Care Excellence Update

In collaboration with Coventry University, we have developed a Centre for Care Excellence - believed to be the first of its kind in the country - for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions. 

The Centre’s objectives are to further enhance patient care and academic excellence through research, practice development, education and innovation. Staff within both Coventry University and UHCW will use their combined expertise to create and work on evidence-based projects and innovative activities to inform practice and education within UHCW, the University and beyond, to create national and international influence.

By enabling better sharing of knowledge and expertise, the Centre aims to empower staff at every level to be able to develop ideas to make ‘patient first’ improvements.  

Professor Jane Coad (Clinical Professor in Nursing), Associate Professor (Critical Care Physiotherapy) David McWilliams and Professor of Allied Health, Shea Palmer, have already taken up posts to lead the Centre.  Following interviews in April, we are hoping that 2 Associate Professors in Nursing will join us soon.

For more information on this exciting development, please click here:

DAISY Awards Update

What an extraordinary month we have had at UHCW celebrating our extraordinary nurses and midwives across the Trust. 

To date, a total of 28 of our extraordinary Nurses and Midwives have been the deserving honourees of a prestigious DAISY award!

Our most recent honourees to receive the DAISY award are: RN Neuro Nurse Specialist Shelley Turnbull and RM Esther Bagg from Ward 24. 

Congratulations and well done to all of our honourees! 

Through May, we also showcased all of our previous DAISY Award honourees and nominees during our celebrations of the international day of the nurse and international day of the midwife. Thank you to all of you who came to take a look! 

As we move into June, Let’s continue to spread the word of the DAISY Awards and celebrate our extraordinary and excellent patient care. 

The DAISY Award nomination leaflets and advertising posters are now available via Trust Nav. Be sure to access these via the  Pathway to Excellence Trust Nav page! 

Could you be the next DAISY Award Honouree?

ReSPECT Survey for version 3

As you are aware we launched version 3 of the ReSPECT form in November of last year and it is great we have heard lots of positive comments around this. We do hope it helps to enhance conversations. 

Today RCUK have launched the survey to gather feedback from you, your colleagues and from patients or family members about this. The survey will remain open for the next 6 months to ensure people have plenty of time to comment.

Please can we ask if you could complete and also circulate the survey link : to colleagues that are using the ReSPECT process in your area and encourage them to complete the survey themselves. 

Please can we also encourage you and your colleagues to give the survey link to patients and their families so they can anonymously give their views. 

To make it easier for health and care professionals to share the survey with people and their families, we have created a flier that can be given out at the end of a ReSPECT conversation.  It can be downloaded here.  

Thank you in advance for your support circulating and encouraging completion of this survey.   

If you have any queries please contact the Resuscitation Service via or via telephone 28800 

Tweets of the month