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CNO Bulletin June 2023



A message from the CNO – Tracey Brigstock

Welcome to June’s issue of the CNO Bulletin.

I can’t quite believe we are already half-way through the year and hope that you are looking forward to some time away with family and friends over the coming weeks.

In this edition of the CNO Bulletin, I’m excited to welcome contributions from Vikki Jones, Consultant Nurse – Gynae Oncology, and our Consultant Practitioner Group, outlining this exciting new role and raising the profile of Advanced Practice not only within the Trust but throughout the Integrated Care System respectively.

There are some details about the Aspiring Midwifery Leaders Programme and the Outstanding Service and Care Awards 2023, as well as a special research-focused showcase event and the launch of the organisation’s new Green Plan (2023-2026).

I hope you enjoy this edition of the CNO Bulletin, and I look forward to sharing more about the UHCW Professional Strategy for Excellence 2023-26 and sharing staff personal stories of career success in the July issue.


In This Issue


What is a Consultant Nurse? With Vikki Jones

In 1999, I was one of the first group of Project 2000 nurses to graduate with a degree. Looking back, this was not celebrated and there was much confusion amongst nurses and medics alike as to why nurses should be educated to degree level; how times have changed.

I landed my first job in gynaecology, with the plan of only staying for a year. But then I found my real passion – caring for ladies effected by gynaecological cancers. I returned to university to complete some oncology modules and secured my job as a gynae oncology CNS in 2003.

In 2005, I was fortunate enough to study at Glasgow University and gain a post graduate certificate in Specialist Role Development.

In 2012 I completed my Masters in Advancing practice and was appointed into the gynae Oncology Advanced Nurse Practitioner post.

I remained in this role leading a fantastic team of CNS’s until this year when I was successful in my application and interview for the role of the Consultant Nurse in Gynae oncology.

Alongside this NHS work, I have appeared as ‘The face of Macmillan’ for TV advert campaigns, charity and fundraising events and providing statements for social media. This is work I feel very passionate about and was honoured to be awarded The Henry Garnett award for my contribution to working directly with Macmillan, beyond my professional role.

What is the new role?

The new role as a Consultant Nurse goes beyond developing expertise in professional practice and independent decision making in complex and unpredictable situations, to incorporating both expertise and evidence-based practice across pathways, services, organisations and systems, working with service users, communities and partners. It’s a role that will help develop the nursing workforce and future workforce demands. It’s a role that allows a helicopter view of the service, identifying gaps in care and using research and innovation to find better and more effective ways of delivering quality care, improving patient satisfactions, along side waste reduction and a reduction in carbon footprint.

What am I looking forward to?

I have been privileged over the last 24 years to work with some of the most amazing nursing and medical staff. Gynae oncology has grown almost beyond recognition and the future feels exciting.

To be part of increasing capacity, capability, safety, quality and better outcomes for the ladies and families we serve is an honour and something I will never tire of.


What is a Paediatric Modern Matron? With Gavin Smyth

I qualified as a Sick Children's Nurse in 1997 undertaking my training at Birmingham Childrens Hospital (BCH). Following initial staff nurse roles within the trauma unit and paediatric intensive care I moved to work within the regional Child and Adolescent Mental Health (Camhs) units at BCH which provided the foundation for my career trajectory working with vulnerable children and those in crisis between the ages of 0-25 years. Throughout I have undertaken multiple specialist nurse roles/extensive therapeutic training with roles including those children within the care system, youth offending and those who have experienced child sexual exploitation. Most recently prior to this new role I have worked within a system leadership position within Coventry and Warwickshire working on the adult integration agenda with CWPT out of hospital services and primary care networks (PCN).

What is the new role?

In April 2023 after many years in the community working with vulnerable young people and I chose to return to the hospital. The matron role is an exciting opportunity and best understood by the 10 components of the matron charter as detailed below.

  • Workforce planning and resource management: a key priority in the next few months is to work alongside our new paediatric’ recruitment lead’ to both retain our staff and recruit new team members.
  • Patient experience and reducing health inequalities: modelling good engagement with patient’s carers and their families. Taking a proactive role in improving patient experience and reducing health inequalities.
  • Education training and development: this is a fundamental component of the matron role, I intend working alongside our excellent practice facilitators to develop all staff members within our team.
  • Digital and technology: an initial priority will be one of working with the EPR team too help support embedding this clinical system within paediatrics.
  • Research and development: I am currently completing my MSc in Systems in Practice. Alongside colleagues I see my role as very much championing/advocating the importance of research in paediatrics in developing services.
  • Collaborative working and clinical effectiveness- I perceive this as a fundamental role of the matron in reducing unwarranted variation in care, improving patient safety, reducing inequality in healthcare and enhancing staff wellbeing as well as conserving resources.
  • Governance patient safety and quality- providing assurance that wards, departments and services are delivering high quality and safe cafe.
  • Performance and Operational Oversight- a key focus is one of monitoring operational performance in line with the accountability framework based on the CQC domains.
  • Inclusive leadership, professional standards and accountability- I aim to demonstrate compassionate inclusive leadership -leading and influencing all staff with kindness, empathy and care. An immediate priority is one of visibility and listening to staff.
  • Service Improvement: a key focus is working alongside staff to empower staff to take on a wider range of clinical tasks and strive for excellence.

What are you looking forward to?

I am looking forward to working together with my new matron colleague to drive the paediatric services forward. This is an exciting time to build upon the significant developments over recent years. The increased capacity now of having two full time matrons is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile/visibility of the matron role and build upon the excellent work being undertaken within paediatrics across the trust. At a time when staffing recruitment is a national problem I am looking forward to working with our new paediatric workforce lead to both support in retain staff but also attract new staff to work with UHCW.


UHCW NHS Trust Consultant Practitioner Group

The group comprises of Advanced Practitioners, Consultant Nurses and Allied Health Professionals from all groups which provides expert practice, strategic and enabling leadership, learning, development, improvement across the system, research and innovation.

The Group was reinstated in July 2022 and Chaired by Heather Price, Associate Director of Nursing for Education and Research. Since re-establishment, the Group meets monthly with the key focus of raising the profile of Advanced Practice not only within the Trust but throughout the Integrated Care System.

One of the main outputs for this year was the undertaking of the Maturity Matrix which has been designed by the faculty of Advancing Practice to support health care providers to put anticipatory governance arrangements in place and to keep their effectiveness under review. The Matrix provides a governance tool as a baseline for advanced practice. The consultant practitioners worked through the eight governance themes and collated an overall Trust response based on group responses which generated the overall compliance dashboard which showed as a Trust we are in ‘Early Progress’ stage. This is similar to peer organisations across the system.

From the baseline data collected for the Maturity Matrix, the Group were able to establish obstacles, enablers and action plans for each theme as per the relevant criteria to be worked on over the next 12 months.

The key themes to develop / action include:

  • A dedicated Trust webpage for Advancing Practice for information and sharing resources.
  • Standardising job descriptions of Advanced practice roles in line with multi-professional framework
  • Clear supervision structures with accessible database for Trust
  • Develop a standard Advanced Practice 360 type model appraisal document incorporating Advanced Practice framework.

By carrying out these key interventions, the aim is to standardise the Advanced practice role across the organisation.


Working with Multiple Sclerosis - Radiographer Chris shares his story

“MS is not a death sentence. It’s not the gloom and doom scenario that you think it is when you are first diagnosed.”

Radiographer Chris Mayer was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2018 but continues to work for the Trust and help patients, playing a key role in passing on knowledge and experience to students.

Chris, who is based at the Hospital of St Cross, has shared his story with the Society of Radiographers to raise awareness and help others who are in a similar position.

He said: "I'm not the old Chris. I can’t do the things I used to be able to do. And I have off-days when the fatigue really hits and I need a place to sit and rest on a comfortable seat or have a break."

To read the full article, click here.


Aspiring Midwifery Leaders Programme ‘very poignant’ for any leader

Suzanne Wilson, Deputy Director of Midwifery, and Louise Clarke, Consultant Midwife, were successful in completing the Aspiring Midwifery leaders Development Programme which ran from October 2022 to March 2023.

The Aspiring Midwifery Leaders Programme was a five-month programme, designed by Healthy You Limited and NHS England, centred on equipping aspiring senior leaders at bands 8a and 8b to increase strategic and operational ability to effectively lead across and upwards in organisations, and across systems.

It was a hybrid programme of both face to face and online components, via workshops and action learning sets, as well as individual and group coaching.

Topics included Financial Confidence, Managing Upwards, The political Arena and having a Helicopter view, workforce planning, Human Factors, Quality and Safety, Changing Culture, Compassionate leadership, and Self- care Optimising the wellbeing of your team. All very poignant topics for any midwifery leader.


Research in your area: Showcase Event

The Research in Your Area Showcase Event was a resounding success, bringing together Clinical Delivery Research teams and researchers from different fields to showcase research studies. The event was attended by staff from the trust, Patient and Public Involvement Service, Research Ambassadors, members of the UHCW board, Chief Nursing Officer, Tracey Brigstock and Vice Chair, Jerry Gould, and students. It provided a platform to disseminate knowledge on research and how staff or volunteers can be involved with the different research teams within the trust and spark new research collaborations.

One of the major highlights of the event was the rich variety of research in different clinical areas showcased. Attendees were able to learn about many different fields, including Urology, Vascular, Cancer, Radiotherapy, Ophthalmology, Digital & Data Driven Unit, Clinical Research Facility and Dana Summut’s project on Patient Violence: Risk Screening feasibility.

The People Support Team was also present at the event with their own stall, offering a range of wellbeing services to staff.

The Stall presentations were detailed and informative, providing a wealth of knowledge to those in attendance. Attendees gained a comprehensive understanding of the latest trends in research specialities and explored opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations. The clinical delivery research teams and researchers presented their recent studies through posters, presentations, and interactive exhibitions. This interactive approach facilitated direct engagement with the teams and allowed for real-time feedback and exchange of new ideas among participants.

The success of the Research in Your Area Showcase Event has highlighted the importance of dissemination of Research in Your Area activities and raising awareness of research within each clinical staff groups. It also showcased the benefits of creating a platform for research clinical teams from different fields to come together to share their research studies and achievements within the trust and increase staff engagement. Such events have the potential to promote collaboration and enhance engagement with research among healthcare professionals, leading to advancements and discoveries in various fields.

The Research in Your Area Showcase Event was a remarkable success, and its impact is lasting. The event provided a platform for research teams, researchers to engage with their peers, staff in the Trust, present their current research studies or work, and create new collaborations. The event highlighted the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration within UHCW NHS Trust to advance research and knowledge.

To participate in the next event, register your interest by contacting the Research Council on


Trust launches Green Plan (2023-2026) to outline net zero ambitions

Colleagues from a range of different departments came together to showcase some incredible projects which are helping the Trust move towards becoming a net zero healthcare provider.

This was part of our wider launch of the Green Plan, which sets out our actions for 2023 to 2026 and explains the broader plans for the National Health Service to achieve net zero emissions by 2045.

The event was opened by Professor Andy Hardy, Chief Executive Officer, Tracey Brigstock, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for Net Zero, and Liz Fitzhugh, Clinical Lead for Net Zero.

Climate-conscious colleagues from Pharmacy, Paediatrics, the Emergency Department, Sterile Services and many more, as well as the Trust’s Sustainability-related staff network Saving Turtles, held stalls which showcased the incredible work which has already been undertaken.

Sustainability forms on of our five key purposes outlines in Our Strategy 2022/2030, and the Green Plan (2023-2026) serves as the central document for our sustainability agenda.

Through this Green Plan, UHCW will work with our staff, patients and partners to take powerful sustainable development and climate action as part of our commitment to offer the highest quality care to our communities.

If you would like to know more about the Trust’s sustainability journey or to view the Green Plan (2023-2026) in full, click here.


Nominations already flooding in for 16th annual OSCAs

The nominations for our annual Outstanding Service and Care Awards (OSCAs) are pouring in as we prepare to honour your remarkable contributions.

The OSCAs recognise and celebrate the extraordinary individuals and teams who consistently go above and beyond to support and deliver outstanding care to our patients.

Each and every one of you plays a crucial role in shaping the success of our Trust and we want to hear from you.

Submitting a nomination is simple, just head to our website, select any one of the awards categories below and tell us what makes your chosen colleagues truly outstanding.


Entries should detail how members of staff at have made a difference to patients with their expertise, vision, dedication and compassion. We always put patients first, so submissions should include details and specific examples of how activities have benefited the people we serve. We also want to know how they aligned with the aims of our Organisational Strategy; this could include tackling health inequalities or helping The Trust’s sustainability efforts.



Designed with non-clinical staff in mind, this award is open to individuals and teams that have sparkled in providing a crucial core service and delivered a high standard of work. Let us know how they have helped us in our goal to be a national and international leader in healthcare and share how they are contributing to the aims of our Organisational Strategy, such as tackling health inequalities and becoming a greener, more sustainable Trust.



We’re looking for individuals that have made fantastic first impressions on patient care, their service and/or staff experience. Please show how they fully embrace learning and development and demonstrate how they have pushed boundaries, challenged the status quo, and made changes for the better.



Nominations should include examples on how compassion is shown and how individuals or teams have demonstrated commitment to improving Trust practices and making working environments better.



Volunteers are a vital part of our Trust and it is our aim to recognise their hard work and dedication in supporting patients and staff, whilst demonstrating the Trust values. This award covers University Hospital Voluntary Services, the Friends of St Cross and Rugby/Coventry Hospital Radio.



Chosen by our Chief Executive Officer, Professor Andy Hardy, this award recognises teams that have gone the extra mile to ensure better never stops for patients, staff and the wider Trust. The winning team will reflect our values of compassion, openness, learn, pride, improve, respect and partnership in everything they do.



Not just for those in senior positions, nominations should detail how individuals have introduced or taken forward changes or developments to enhance services, processes and/or quality of care for patients or staff.



Award submissions should share examples of how knowledge and understanding has been strengthened thanks to the guidance of this outstanding individual.



Nominations should outline how innovation or improvement was used and the positive impact that has been made on enhancing care for patients or outcomes for colleagues.


Individuals and teams across UHCW live and breathe the Trust’s values of Compassion, Openness, Improve, Respect, Partnership, Pride and Learn each and every day. When making your nomination, please emphasise how your nominee has exemplified these values in their actions.

The deadline for submitting entries is 11:59pm on Thursday, 13th July 2023.

We can’t wait to hear your stories.


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