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CNO Bulletin September 2022



Welcome to September’s edition of the CNO Bulletin.

After starting our journey in 2019, I am delighted to confirm the Trust has been awarded Pathway to Excellence designation. This incredible achievement was made possible by all of you, showing fantastic engagement and enthusiasm with this process.

As well as celebrating this achievement, September’s CNO Bulletin is keeping this momentum for Pathway to Excellence going by focusing on one of the six standards which we’ve all become so familiar with over the last three years: Professional Development.

We’re showcasing some brilliant case studies from colleagues across the organisation and also sharing opportunities which you can grasp to continue your development as a valued and important member of Team UHCW.


In This Issue:


UHCW becomes first university hospital in the UK to be awarded Pathway to Excellence® designation

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust is incredibly proud to become the first university hospital in the UK to be awarded the internationally acclaimed Pathway to Excellence® designation.

By receiving Pathway designation, UHCW has demonstrated how our nursing and midwifery staff have a direct role in influencing and enhancing both policy and practice for the benefit of their patients, as well as promoting a healthy work environment where staff feel empowered and valued at the Trust’s two hospitals:  University Hospital, Coventry and the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby, as well as our satellite centres across the West Midlands.

UHCW’s designation as an internationally recognised Pathway to Excellence® organisation demonstrates they’re leading the way in enhancing quality of care, patient and staff safety, and the future of healthcare delivery.

You can read a full statement on our website by clicking here.


“I feel incredibly grateful to UHCW for investing so much time and resource into my professional development.” Amy Billington, Nursing Associate

Since joining UHCW in 2011 I have been fortunate to be supported through several different training programmes. I started as a Healthcare Support Worker and undertook my NVQ level 3 within the trust. This was followed by the Nursing Associate foundation degree, which gave me the opportunity to apply for and complete the Leadership Programme for Registered Nursing Associates with the Florence Nightingale Foundation. After two and a half years as an NMC registrant, I was offered the opportunity to undertake the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship to “top up” to a Registered Nurse. I’m pleased to say that I’m just over halfway through the course.

I have experienced a wide range of exposure to other specialties as an apprentice. Placements have been well organised in advance by the Practice Development Team and the response to the role has been largely positive.

Being a new role with a new uniform that isn’t widely recognised in the trust, there have been certain challenges, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to educate colleagues on the Apprentice Nurse role. I spend a varying number of hours each week as a Registered Nursing Associate undertaking my job in Ground Floor Theatres, with the rest of the hours allocated to placement or study.

Each placement has provided an opportunity to expand my knowledge and skill set, with most placements being organised within the trust. However, I spent some time at a secure unit in Birmingham for my learning disability training. I was initially apprehensive when I arrived at a building with high fences, security cameras and keys for every internal door. However, I quickly realised I had nothing to fear and enjoyed every minute of this placement. Subsequently I have been able to utilise the skills I learned in other practice environments. 

I feel incredibly grateful to UHCW for investing so much time and resource into my professional development, as it has afforded me countless opportunities to progress my career and widen my skillset.


“A challenge is not a negative thing; it can be a positive and beautiful thing if you embrace the journey.” Michelle Hartanto, Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

I am a Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow in the West Midlands Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme, sponsored by Health Education England.

The Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme is a research programme for nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals (NMAHPs) who wish to combine clinical practice with research that benefits patients. It bridges the gap for individuals with Masters-level qualification aspiring towards doctoral-level research. The programme combines academic research masterclasses, supervision, and independent time for research activities, with tangible aims and outcomes such as journal publications and research applications.

The Pre-Doctoral programme complements my substantive role; I undertake my research activities one day a week whilst continuing in my role with the Resuscitation team and as Chair of the ReSPECT Shared Decision-Making Council.

I could not have imagined a year ago how much I would learn and grow from this programme and how much this programme would facilitate my professional development.

Over the past year I have conducted a systematic review of CPR decision-making conversations, which I am currently writing for publication. It was a massive learning curve to facilitate the creation of a systematic search strategy, screen studies, perform line-by-line coding, and perform thematic synthesis to generate higher-level themes. This project was very much a stretch, as I had never conducted a research project to pre-doctoral standards before and it was quite daunting to start. I learned that although it can seem scary, don’t be afraid to stretch! If I had never tried, I never would’ve discovered that I could do it.

I adopted the mindset: A challenge is not a negative thing; it can be a positive and beautiful thing if you embrace the journey and are open to learning. We tend to use the word “challenge” with a negative connotation. However when I was faced with a new task I had never done before, I found if I was open to learning and embracing others’ expertise, others seemed excited to support me to push myself and grow. When tackling new tasks, I read everything I could get my hands on about the topic, attended webinars and spoke to experts, and then took this back to my supervisors to ensure I had learned how to do it correctly. Therefore these stretch projects were hugely positive experiences filled with encouragement and support.

I feel very fortunate to have had two wonderful supervisors who provided guidance and mentorship during the year-long systematic review. I was supervised by Professor Anne-Marie Slowther (Professor of Clinical Ethics at UHCW and Warwick Medical School and national ReSPECT subject matter expert) and Dr. Tim Robbins (NIHR Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Associate Professor at UHCW and Warwick Medical School). In our systematic review team we were also lucky to have Gavin Moore, a CEBIS Specialist with an expertise in qualitative studies, and Risheka Suthantirakumar, a medical student at the University of Warwick.

Through this experience of managing the research project and team, I learned the importance of embracing individual strengths and different perspectives. We were able to achieve so much more through teamwork and collaboration than as individuals. I have embraced this mentality and applied this ethos to the ReSPECT Shared Decision-Making Council. Each Council member brings their own strengths and experiences, and I ensure that everyone feels valued, respected, and involved. We embrace collective leadership as we recognise that we are more likely to achieve our goals when we work together and make decisions as a team. It is also more joyful to celebrate as a team!

During my time in the programme I also published a study as first author in Resuscitation Plus. It was the first study to explore how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted clinicians’ views on the ReSPECT process. I’m excited to share that I have been invited to present these findings at a Palliative Medicine conference next month.

During the publication process I received feedback and critique from other researchers, which taught me the importance of tenacity and embracing constructive feedback to create a stronger product. I realised how difficult it was to objectively evaluate myself and my work. For my own professional development I have embraced the importance of asking others for honest feedback, showing appreciation for it, and using their feedback to grow. 

Through the publication and the research network I’ve developed through the programme, I became a journal reviewer. As a journal reviewer I critically analyse papers and offer suggestions so other authors can improve on the quality of their work. This has improved my own writing and reasoning skills, which helps me in writing research papers and NMAHP Council reports for Shared Decision-Making Council chairs.

This programme has given me increased knowledge, skills, and professional confidence to apply research to clinical practice. I believe very strongly clinical healthcare professionals can apply research knowledge and use of evidence-based best practice to improve practice or improve patient outcomes. I started the Resuscitation Journal Club to help foster an environment where others are encouraged to be inquisitive and are empowered to explore how research influences our current practice. The programme has also given me the tools to quantify issues and measure outcomes. In the ReSPECT SDM Council we have utilised complaints reports, audits, and national surveys to show the need for improvement and drive change.

The Pre-Doctoral research programme has been very instrumental in my professional development journey and growth, and I’m very grateful to have been supported in this journey by my team in the Resuscitation Service and the Research & Development department. I would highly recommend the opportunity; you can learn more about the programme through the link below:

Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme


“Good planning, a supportive work team and an understanding family will help you succeed.” Gail Evans, Senior Research Sister

I am a Senior Research Sister working for Research and Development and I manage the Cardiology, Neurology, Renal and Stroke research speciality teams.

In summer of 2020 I was working as a Band 6 research sister with aspirations of progressing to a Band 7 Senior Research Sister in the next few years. I was made aware via a trust wide email that the Learning and Development department had spaces on the Senior Leaders Masters-Degree Apprenticeship(SLMDA) programme in conjunction with Coventry University.

I successfully secured a place on the programme and commenced the Global Healthcare Management MSc element of the programme in September 2020. The very first module was Principles of Leadership and Management, this module, for me, was the most important and the topics and ideas taught on the module have helped me to shape my skills in team leadership and management. The modules that followed have all helped to shape my thoughts and behaviours, modules completed include Policy, Politics and Transforming Practice and Managing and Planning Resources in Healthcare Organisations.

The MSc course was only part of the programme, the other was an apprenticeship in healthcare management, for this part of the programme my Line Manager, Nic Aldridge, became my workplace mentor. He guided me through the apprenticeship framework which focuses on building knowledge, skills and behaviours in healthcare management. Some of the topics covered in the framework were around shaping organisational vision and culture, values-based leadership, corporate social responsibility and many more.

For me, there have been an abundance of benefits to this course. For the MSc part we were put into small groups called “Action Learning Sets”. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we could only meet online initially however, our small group quickly became friends who have supported each other all the way through the programme, the group are from different professional backgrounds and are all on different career pathways and so we have learnt from each other’s knowledge and experiences, it was great to run ideas and concerns with the group knowing that what was said would remain within the group.

A further benefit is that it has helped me grow in confidence as a leader and manager. Before the programme I would worry about how to handle different situations and having to independently make decisions however, the programme and my workplace mentor have really supported me in gaining the tools and the skills to no longer worry about these aspects of my role.

Since starting the SLMDA I was successfully appointed to Senior Research Sister in March 2021, this programme has greatly helped me in my new role, I am still learning but the programme has helped to provide me with some useful tools and has shaped my knowledge and skills in a management role.

I would recommend the programme to anyone who would like to develop their leadership and management skills, you will need good time management skills as you will be working and studying at the same time, it takes a lot of your social time up but some good planning, a supportive work team and an understanding family will help you succeed.


“The challenges I have gone through have stretched and tempered my character and attitude towards any task.” Erlou Knight, Staff Nurse

Before I came to this hospital I was a sister in charge at the Philippine Heart Centre on the surgical intensive care unit for heart surgery from 1997 to 2003. I came to this country and worked as a cardiac ITU nurse in Royal Wolverhampton New Cross hospital from 2003 till 2008. I have been working at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire since 2008 to this present time.

Within my 25 years of nursing I have picked up many skills and gained a better understanding of things pertaining to my work, furthermore, all the challenges I have gone through have stretched and tempered my character and attitude towards any task I undertake, how I care for my patients and the way I interact with my colleagues . Being teachable I know that I can still develop and improve myself so am always open to constructive criticism , learning and developing new skills and knowledge as well as looking out for opportunities where I can build myself up.

Alongside my mandatory training  I have also attended courses  and completed training in; tissue viability pressure ulcer prevention competence; documentation in nursing and midwifery; a conflict resolution refresher course;  the West Midlands regional transfusion committee conference (where we discussed how we deal with anaemia); revalidation; acute illness management;  metal health capacity, DoLS and restraint training; PREVENT Wrap and level 3 child protection training; IV drug administration; medicine management. Recently I have also completed training in tracheostomy and suction training.

During my time I have worked in many department of the hospital such as Accident and Emergency, AMU, Renal ward, dialysis, diabetic ward, respiratory ward, cardio thoracic ward, coronary care unit, fluoroscopy; frailty ward; orthopaedic ward; endoscopy, haematology, day surgery unit, surgical assess unit, neuro ward/stroke unit and many more which I have not listed as it would be too long. Currently I am working in theatre recovery as a band five nurse. Working in these sectors I have gained a better comprehension about how our hospital is run and the different ways people have lead and managed their department. I am aware of the problems and the things we lack in the NHS but I have learnt how to work despite any condition while ensuring the quality of care I provide to my patience as well as building up my resilience so that I work through difficult task with a positive attitude and enthusiasm.


Florence Nightingale Foundation: Leadership Opportunities

As a member of the Florence Nightingale Foundation Academy, here at UHCW NHS Trust we are able to offer exciting leadership and professional development opportunities to our nurses, midwives and registered healthcare professionals. Read on below to find out about current opportunities:

Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholarships: Applications Now Open

Applications for the prestigious FNF Scholarships are now open! The Leadership Scholarships, open to all registered nurses and midwives working at NHS Agenda for Change Band 7 and above, offer a fantastic opportunity to stretch and develop yourself beyond your previous expectations. These scholarships offer opportunity for career development – networking with like-minded professionals whilst using new knowledge to impact patients and lead changes in policy and practice.

Applications close 21st October 2022.

To find out more and apply for a scholarship, follow the link below:

Scholarships - Florence Nightingale Foundation

Nightingale Frontline: Leadership Support Service

This leadership support service provides a psychologically safe space for individuals to explore and reflect on professional and personal leadership challenges. The sessions are accessible to nurses, midwives and other registered healthcare professionals. They take place via zoom and are suitable to use as evidence of continuing professional development (CPD).

To read a reflection by Practice Facilitator Kirsty Blakemore about her experiences of the service, follow this link to a previous issue of our CNO Bulletin.

To find out more and book a space, please follow the link below:

Nightingale Frontline - Florence Nightingale Foundation

Please note: If you are booking a session due to take place in September 2022, please select ‘Friend of FNF’ when asked to give the name of your organisation, to take advantage of some additionally funded spaces. For all other bookings, please select University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire.

Upcoming FNF Webinars

Follow the links below to explore and book on to a webinar:


CNO National Shared Professional Decision-Making (SPDM) Council - Expressions of Interest Now Open!

Shared decision-making offers a non-hierarchical approach to collective leadership. This can drive forwards quality and service improvements, supporting innovation and delivering better outcomes for individuals, populations and staff.

The National CNO SPDM Council was established in May 2020, with membership including colleagues from the point of care, working in a variety of clinical and practice settings across the system. The council comes together virtually with Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, to particularly discuss new ways of working clinically, operationally or in terms of governance.

Council members work locally, regionally and nationally to influence policy and make recommendations for change and improvement. A key achievement of the council includes the COVID-19 catalogue of change (

Becoming a council member is a commitment (usually 1-2 hours per month) so members need to be fully committed to participation. If you are able to commit this time (with support from your manager) and want to influence change and improvement across the wider nursing profession, then the National SPDMC may be for you!

This is a fantastic professional and leadership development opportunity. If you’d like to express your interest or have any questions, please email with the following details by Friday 30th September 2022:

Full name:

Work email address:

NMC Pin:

Branch of Nursing:

Current Role/Job Title:

Areas of Professional Interest:

Supportive Statement:

(Approx. 200 words)

Please include a brief supportive statement which tells us why you wish to join the council and what you could bring as a member, this may include any relevant experience in relation to collective leadership and modelling shared professional decision-making.



A recruitment open day is taking place at the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby to invite people who are looking to learn more about how to kick start their career in nursing or take on a new challenge in healthcare.

The open day will be taking place on Saturday 1st October between 10am until 3pm in the hospital’s Outpatients Department and the nursing team will be on hand to answer your questions about what it’s like to work at the hospital and provide more information about the range of roles currently available.

From apprenticeships to healthcare assistant and nursing roles, those interested in exploring job opportunities are advised to bring ID documentation as well as any proof of relevant nursing qualifications as interviews will be available on the day.

For further information or if you’d like to learn more about the roles but cannot attend, contact or

To hear from the team at the hospital please watch the video below.


Getting it “Write”

Solving the issue of transforming the research culture of NHS healthcare provider organisations brings with it many challenges. In order to achieve this, University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) seconded Professor Jane Coad, Nottingham University to a senior leadership position to work closely with Ceri Jones, Head of Research & Development and the R&D Team to improve clinical research undertaken and ensure high quality care is delivered to patients and their families. This has brought with it many opportunities for UHCW staff in developing research and research careers.

One aspect that UHCW staff told Jane and the R&D team was that they felt they lacked confidence in writing for abstracts and/or publication. This began a stream of activity in a series of multidisciplinary Writing Workshops delivered by The Royal Literary Fund (RLF) for our Trust.

The RLF Writing Workshop includes working in small groups, led by a professional reputable author.  Staff are given time and support in order to explore the key elements of effective writing but as part of the workshop each participant produces one agreed output. Three workshops have now been organised with 10 to 14 UHCW staff. Output examples have included successful applications for fellowships, conferences and high-quality journal papers.

Each has been very well evaluated. Staff reported that they are practical, participant-centred and practice-based with shared exercises and activities designed to nurture good writing.

Everyone has also commented on the excellent one-to-one input from the nominated authors in addition to extra support received from the R&D Team and Professor Coad.

All of us have different needs in terms of writing as well as different strengths and challenges. These workshops have provided an opportunity for each participant to receive one-to-one feedback on a specific output. This feedback helps participants to build confidence in their own skills but adds to the skills of UHCW talented staff.

Getting it Write for UHCW is important to our Trust values so if you are interested in our new Writing Workshops due to start in October 2022, please contact Angel Magar ( to register your interest.


Introduction to Intellectual Property session

Do you have a promising idea for a new medical device or research study? Or perhaps an app? Or a training programme?

If so, you will need to consider how your idea can be recognised, protected and developed.

Guy Smallman will be running a two-hour Introduction to Intellectual Property session 14:00-16:00 on Wednesday 14th September and again 14:00-16:00 on Wednesday 7th December.

All members of staff are welcome!

This session will be held in the Innovation Hub and will cover:

  • An understanding of what Intellectual Property (IP) is
  • Why IP is important
  • Types of IP
  • How to protect IP
  • IP dos and don’ts
  • IP and research grant applications
  • Collaborative relationships
  • Commercialisation strategies
  • Staff reward scheme
  • Associated documents and contracts
  • Further help and support

Please book through ESR or email:


Full list of inspirational OSCAs 2022 nominees revealed

The Outstanding Service and Care Awards (OSCAs) highlight your dedication to providing high quality care for our patients and recognise how you go above and beyond every day.

Now in its 15th year, the OSCAs has reached new heights with more than 1,200 nominations submitted and we are delighted to reveal the full list of nominees here.

Congratulations to everybody that has been put forward and thank you to anyone who submitted a nomination. Certificates will be sent over the coming weeks to all nominees including the full nomination that was submitted to recognise your achievements.

The awards ceremony is now just over a month away, taking place at Mercia Venue (Lockhurst Lane, Coventry) on Friday 7th October and is sponsored by UHCW Charity, ISS, Coventry University, Vinci Facilities and Project Co.

We can't wait to share further details with you, including the reveal of our shortlists for the evening next week. Alongside our winners for the categories below, other awards will be given from some of our sponsors, as well as the highly coveted Chief Executive Officer awards (Individual and Team).

In the meantime, we are pleased to unveil an exciting new category that puts the power in your hands. Our Staff Choice Award brings together winners from the Trust's other recognition schemes (DAISY and World Class Colleague awards) over the past year. Click here LINK to cast your vote. Entrants appear in a randomised order and you can vote for your winner only once so make it count. The Staff Choice Award will close on Sunday 25th September at 11.59pm.

Congratulations to everyone once again for your continued hard work and dedication.


We Can Talk training to support the mental health of young people

To help better support you and ensure that you have the right knowledge and skills when caring for young people in crisis, UHCW has joined the We Can Talk project. Led by Healthy Teen Minds and Health Education England, the platform offers free online training that will share advice and guidance to help give you the confidence and understanding of how best to care for young people experiencing mental health crises.

The training is accessible on any device with internet access and you can sign up at For more information, visit TrustNav.


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