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Some of our team from the Paediatic Unit


A message from our Modern Matrons

We are thrilled that you are considering joining our paediatric team of dedicated healthcare professionals.

As Mondern Matrons in the Paediatric Unit, we take immense pride in the exceptional care and compassion our nurses provide to our patients each day. We are committed to upholding the highest standards of patient centred care, and we believe that every member of our nursing staff plays a crucial role in making a positive impact on the lives of our patients and their families.

At University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, we recognise that our nurses are the heart and soul of our organisation. As such, we are dedicated to creating an inclusive, collaborative, and supportive work environment that empowers you to thrive both personally and professionally.

We encourage you to explore our Trust, learn more about our values and vision, and envision yourself as a key member of our paediatric team. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or require further information about the opportunities that await you.

Thank you for considering UHCW as your next professional home. We eagerly anticipate the possibility of working with you and making a positive impact on the lives of our patients.

Gavin SMYTH and Leah Pritchard

Why choose us for your paediatric nursing career?

We believe in providing the highest standard of care for our young patients. As a paediatric nurse at UHCW, you will have the opportunity to work with some of the bravest young heroes, offering them comfort and support during challenging times.

Our hospital is equipped with cutting-edge medical technology and facilities, enabling our paediatric nurses to deliver the best care possible. You'll have access to the latest advancements in paediatric healthcare, enriching your skills and knowledge.

We foster a collaborative and supportive work environment where teamwork and communication are paramount. You'll work alongside skilled healthcare professionals, exchanging expertise and learning from one another.

We value continuous learning and professional growth. We offer various training programmes, workshops, and opportunities for certifications, empowering you to advance your paediatric nursing career.

Nothing compares to the joy of seeing a child's smile after their recovery. As a paediatric nurse at UHCW, you'll experience the rewarding moments that come with making a positive impact on a child's life and their family.

We encourage our paediatric nurses to contribute their ideas and perspectives to improve patient care continuously. Your voice matters, and together, we strive to achieve excellence in paediatric healthcare.


Skills and qualifications

As a paediatric nurse, it is important that you have:

  • A passion for paediatric nursing and a genuine love for children.
  • A valid nursing degree and appropriate certifications.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and handle emotionally challenging situations.
  • Dedication to providing compassionate and family-centered care.


Our roles

We have the following permanent positions available:

Band 6 Co-ordinator

Epilepsy Nurse Specialist

You can apply online using the links above or below. Alternatively, you can get in touch or register your interest if you would like to speak to a member of the team before you apply.


Search and apply

If you would like to join us in our mission to provide exceptional healthcare to the youngest members of our community, and If you would like to be part of a team that is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children and their families, search and apply for our latest vacancies.

Together, let's create a healthier and happier future for the brave young heros we care for.


Get in touch and register your interest

We are available for an informal chat for general enquiries, please email Kerrie Welsh, Paediatric Workforce Lead or use the form below:


What is it like to work for us?

Meet Hayley James, a dedicated Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialist who's making an incredible impact in the Paediatric Unit at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust. Providing specialised support and advice to children and young people and their families with Asthma. Facilitating inpatient and outpatient reviews, and providing assessment, intervention, and education at every point of contact.

Hayley James, Respiratory Clinical Nurse

In 2010, I embarked on my nursing journey, stepping into the world of healthcare with a deep enthusiasm to make a positive contribution. I initially worked as a Nurse on Ward 15 before progressing to the position of Sister on the very same ward. Following maternity leave, an exciting opportunity presented itself – a chance to work alongside the respiratory nursing team as a Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialist. Respiratory care had always held a special place in my heart, so I applied for the opportunity and successfully secured the role. Over the last five years, I've gained considerable experience from practical, hands-on training in my day-to-day duties. Additionally, I've accomplished the successful completion of asthma modules. I have taken on the responsibility of managing the respiratory team, which entails overseeing and leading the team's activities.

My day typically involves taking care of patients and working closely with my team. For instance, today, I had an appointment with a three-year-old patient in Paediatric Medical day unit. This young child had been experiencing recurring episodes of wheezing, which had been a source of concern for her family during past holidays. Considering she had required ventilation during a previous vacation, her mother was understandably cautious about planning another trip. Today's appointment provided reassurance to her mother; I provided her with a rescue pack of oral steroids to take with them on holiday. Moreover, I had the privilege of introducing a new team member to our work dynamics, a task that added another layer of richness to my day. These moments, where patient care meets team support, truly capture the rewarding essence of my role.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working at the Trust is the remarkable camaraderie among my colleagues. Their unwavering support has helped me through both challenges and triumphs, providing an environment where I can learn and grow.

What truly excites me in my work is the real difference I make in patients' lives. It's truly fulfilling to witness patients shift from confusion to confidence. In a way, I act like a detective, helping them to understand their condition and educate their families. The heartfelt thanks and positive changes I see are why I'm so passionate about my role – creating a real impact on patients' asthma control and overall health.

Since starting my role, I've been on a journey of constant learning. Taking charge of the respiratory service has been a challenge but also empowering. This role pushed me to learn how to manage a service, address needs, review patients, gather data, and conduct audits. It's a big job that has expanded my skills and tested my abilities.

For those considering a role like mine, I offer this advice: take a leap of faith. Venturing into the unknown can be daunting, but it's through conquering the unfamiliar that we truly empower ourselves. This specialised nursing role has brought me autonomy and the scope to develop both myself and the service. It's been a transformative path, that I believe has offered a unique way of nursing, and the opportunity for me to drive positive change.

Meet Toni Peoples. Toni's interest in nursing began at a young age, inspired by her caring and compassionate nature, as often mentioned by her mother. Starting as a volunteer at her local hospital in Ireland, she now holds the position of Ward Manager at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust.

Toni Peoples Ward Manager for Ward 16

During my time studying for a BTEC in Health and Social Care at college, I started volunteering at a nearby hospital in Ireland. As a volunteer, I helped on the labour ward, taking care of newborn babies. Initially, I had never considered a career in paediatric nursing. However, after conversations with the nurses, I became aware of the diverse nursing roles available. Subsequently, I managed to secure volunteer work in the Paediatric Unit, where I came to realise that it was a great match for me. This experience significantly influenced my decision to pursue a nursing degree.

I was accepted into Coventry University's nursing program, where I gained extensive knowledge throughout my studies. Following graduation, I worked as a Band 5 nurse on Ward 15 at UHCW. After dedicating 18 months to the position, acquiring new skills and valuable experience, I progressed to a Sister role. Subsequently, an opportunity arose to temporarily manage the ward during maternity leave, and I successfully secured the position. Despite initial reservations, I embraced the challenges that came with the role, revealing a strong inclination for merging managerial responsibilities with patient care. This experience further fuelled my ambition to progress. Encouraged by this, I submitted an application for the Ward Manager position on Ward 16, a role I hold today, finding it deeply rewarding.

I come from a small town in Ireland, and I chose Coventry because my family lives nearby and the city isn't too big.

UHCW is supportive, with well-organised teams and approachable management. Ward 16 is fast-paced, and I learn something new every day by working with a variety of patients, especially oncology care for newborns to 17-year-olds. The Trust also provides courses that have improved my skills, and its good reputation has encouraged me to do my best.

In my position, each day presents unique challenges. On a standard management day, I engage in handover sessions, ensure equitable and suitable patient assignments to staff, manage sick leave, review schedules, conduct random checks, participate in meetings, and supervise care plans. On a typical clinical day, my tasks encompass handover sessions, preparing patients for surgery, conducting medication rounds, and establishing patient rapport.

What I find most exciting is the positive changes happening on Ward 16, like working alongside adult nurses and setting up a learning zone. Juggling clinical and managerial tasks helps me improve my skills and connect with my team. Interacting with staff and patients every day gives me valuable learning opportunities, which help make the patient experience better and create a positive workplace.

Since starting on this journey, I've learned a lot. Going from a Band 5 to a Band 7 nurse has given me important skills, including management and organisation. Taking various courses has made me even better at clinical work and boosted my confidence in providing excellent care. I still believe in always learning and growing.

For those aspiring to a similar role, being motivated, a good team player, adaptable, honest, and including your team in decisions are really important. Balancing clinical and managerial tasks needs self-assurance and trusting your instincts. This path brings satisfying growth and an opportunity to make a lasting difference in patient care.

Our team works closely together to provide consistent high-quality care and uses a collaborative approach to offer staff invaluable opportunities to gain experience and nursing skills while working with children and young people.

Ward 15 and HDU

We are more than just a team; we are a work family dedicated to and invested in providing a happy working environment. We support one another during each shift. We have a variety of nursing staff with different skill sets, backgrounds, and experiences. As a team, we learn from each other, and this enhances our skills while also fostering friendships within the working environment.

Ward 15 is a general paediatric ward caring for medical and surgical patients aged 0-2 years. Our High Dependency Unit (HDU) is a critical care level 2 unit that cares for acutely and chronically unwell medical and surgical patients.

We recognise individuals' skills and strengths and utilize them within the team. We are proud of our initiatives and the diverse range we offer, including nursing associates, international nurses, and a rotational program. We are currently developing a unique new development program for band 5 and 6 staff within paediatrics to ensure everyone has access to career progression.

Emma, Lisa, and their dedicated teams demonstrate how collaboration across specialties can result in enhanced patient care, staff growth, and a stronger foundation for the future of paediatric healthcare.

Meet Hannah Pyburn, a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) specialising in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) Liaison. Her journey is a testament to dedication, growth, and the profound impact she makes in the lives of vulnerable young individuals at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust.

What gets me up every morning is the thrill of not knowing what the day will bring. Working with a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and being able to contribute to young patients’ lives is incredibly worthwhile. Seeing young patients change and evolve on their emotional journeys gives me a sense of fulfilment like nothing else. I'm here to guide patients and their parents, offer support, and help them make positive changes in their lives, whether it's steering them toward better emotional states or showing them a healthier lifestyle.

Right from the start, children's mental health fascinated me. I've been part of the adolescent unit since its inception in 2006. When the role of Cahms Liaison CNS came up, I grabbed the opportunity. I started with a 12-month secondment and then went on to make it permanent. This was my calling, and I've been in this specialist nurse role for about 10 years now. I also worked for RISE South Warwickshire CAMHS team as team lead for three years. But my heart pulled me back to UHCW – I missed working in the acute service. So, I returned to my former role, and I've been here ever since.

Personal Development Reviews (PDRs), one-on-one sessions, and appraisals have helped to shape my career journey. It's not just about doing courses for the sake of it. The Trust supported me in doing what I was genuinely interested in. I've always been encouraged to learn and develop, and that's why I went ahead with a degree in child and adolescent mental health in professional practice. I did it over two years, with day-release. The Trust really invested in my career growth. Supportive colleagues helped me recognise my learning needs and guided me in that direction.

My journey began in India, where I trained to become a nurse and gained important experience in a super speciality hospital. During this time, my marriage and strong desire to work in healthcare in a new part of the world led me to Coventry.

Ashna Sebastian Staff Nurse

I applied for a job as a Staff Nurse at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust. This process involved showing my nursing qualifications, language proficiency, and commitment to following the UK’s nursing standards. During my interview, I demonstrated my dedication to nursing and my genuine care for patients, which led to me being offered the job.

Since I have been here, I have learned to adapt the changes and differences and appreciated the positives of being a member of the team. I have had opportunities to learn and grow and have focused on improving my skills and gaining knowledge about nursing in the UK.

Patients and their families are amazing, and they appreciate the way I care for them. Since I know several languages, I can communicate with many people, making them feel included and important.

Looking back, I am proud of the journey that led me here. My role as a nurse in Coventry has enabled me to make a positive impact on patient care while also embracing diversity and fostering an environment of compassion and inclusion.

Looking ahead, I'm excited about the upcoming opportunities. I'm about to enrol on to a HDU course, which will enable me to provide cover for the staff in the High Dependency Unit whenever required.

Meet Mel Knowles, a versatile and dedicated Flexi Nurse who's making a remarkable impact in the Paediatric Unit at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust.

Mel's role as a Flexi Nurse is both varied and rewarding. She moves across different wards to meet the needs of the unit. This demonstrates the exciting variability that a role in nursing offers. Mel has chosen her shifts, which helps her to balance her work and family life.

Mel Knowles Staff Nurse

How I became a paediatric nurse is an interesting story. After a successful career in banking, I chose to focus on my family, becoming a stay-at-home mum. However, the desire for a new challenge struck when my youngest child started primary school. Inspired by my nurse friends, I began on a journey of retraining as a nurse. Despite my age (I was in my late 30s at the time), I completed an access course and then pursued a nursing degree.

A typical day for me involves a mixture of providing patient care and working closely with colleagues. I start with a thorough handover, followed by attending to around four to six patients. My early tasks usually involve administering medications and assisting patients awaiting surgery. My approach revolves around prioritisation and teamwork, turning each day into a unique puzzle to solve.

One of the most rewarding aspects of working at the Trust is seeing children leave the hospital after their treatment.

Working on Ward 16, where patients range from 2 to 12 years old, I've seen the remarkable impact of building trust with both patients and their families. After the COVID-19 pandemic, I noticed changes in children's behaviour, with them feeling more nervous. Despite their initial fears, I help them feel at ease. By the time they're ready to leave, the transformation is evident, and these children leave the ward with big smiles.

So far, my nursing journey has been a continuous learning experience. I've gained skills in identifying deteriorating patients and have become competent in administering IV medications. Each day brings new challenges and opportunities to develop further.

One aspect of my role that I really enjoy is having the chance to oversee different wards. This gives me the platform to showcase my leadership skills and constantly learn new ones, while also demonstrating my ability to overcome challenges. Whether I'm moving between wards or adapting to unfamiliar situations, I enjoy the dynamic environment my position offers.

For those considering a similar path, I encourage you to be courageous and brave, just as I was. While nursing can be challenging, think about the positive impact and the difference you can make in the profession. Despite the difficulties, a nurse's influence on someone's life is invaluable and difficult to replicate in other sectors.

Back in 1997, I started my journey to become a nurse at Birmingham Children's Hospital (BCH). I began by working in the trauma unit and paediatric intensive care at BCH. I've always had a heart however for helping young people facing mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and emotional difficulties, I specialised over several years working within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. I focused on providing important mental health/therapeutic care and support to children and teenagers who needed it most. This path guided me towards specialist nurse roles working with vulnerable children and young people. Later, I took on differing leadership roles within the community/primary care.

In April 2023, I felt drawn back to the hospital environment and took on an exciting new role as a Matron in the Paediatric Unit at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust.

As a Matron, my job involves:

  • Leading the team: I work to make our team strong and bring in new members. I work closely with my paediatric matron colleague and recruitment lead.
  • Making care better: I'm committed to ensuring patients/families get the best care possible. I listen to what patients, families, and caregivers have to say.
  • Learning and growing: I'm dedicated to helping our team learn and grow. I team up with practice facilitators to make this happen.
  • Using technology: Right now, I'm focused on bringing in a new clinical system to help with patient care.
  • Research and progress: I'm really into research, and I'm even working towards an MSc in Systems in Practice. I believe research can make care better.
  • Teamwork for good care: I'm all about making sure care is the same for everyone, safe, and good for both patients and our team.
  • Checking quality: I keep an eye on how good our care is in different parts of the Paediatric Unit.
  • Making sure everything works well: I watch over how things are going to make sure they're working as they should.
  • Leading and being responsible: I lead by being kind, caring, and making sure everyone is heard. Staff wellbeing is a key priority.
  • Improving care: I work on making care better by helping our team learn new things and do their best.

I firmly believe that providing care to all young patients in an inclusive and welcoming environment is of utmost importance. Additionally offering male patients the option to receive care from male nurses who can relate to their experiences is equally important. This emphasises the value of having a diverse nursing team bringing different perspectives and strengths to the role, which ultimately improves the quality of patient care.

Being a Matron in UHCW's Paediatric Unit is rewarding because it empowers me to lead and support a dedicated team of healthcare practitioners, ensuring quality care for young patients and their families. This role provides an opportunity to create a positive impact on patient outcomes, foster an inclusive atmosphere, and contribute to the well-being of children during their critical parts of their lives.