Nurses’ Day 2018: Even in difficult times NHS colleagues show passion and care

PUBLISHED: 16:52 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:52 10 May 2018

Francesca Hankins. Photo: Norfolk and Suffolk NHS FT

Francesca Hankins. Photo: Norfolk and Suffolk NHS FT

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS FT

Francesca Hankins joined Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) in 1998 as a part-time medical secretary and now, having trained as a nurse, is deputy locality manager in West Norfolk.

She said: “NSFT has enabled me to experience a varied career since qualifying in 2005 as a mental health nurse, working in primary care, acute inpatient wards and the child family and young person service, where I have spent much of my career both as a senior mental health practitioner in the early intervention service and later as a clinical team leader.

“There have been many challenges over this time, my career having both highs and lows. For me, a professional high was working in a gold standard early intervention in psychosis service and seeing the difference we could make to young people’s lives.

“Even in more difficult times, however, I have always found that colleagues remain passionate and caring about patients and continue to work tirelessly to improve the mental health of patients, which in turn has inspired me to stay working in mental health services in the NHS.

“I was fortunate enough to be successful in being recruited into the matron role in West Norfolk a few years ago and to be involved in the matron leadership and development programme which was a fantastic experience for me and enabled me to grow as a leader, and have a real focus on quality improvement.

“During this time I was able to meet colleagues from all across the trust and this has reinforced my belief that NSFT is very fortunate in having so many passionate and skilled staff who are always keen to share knowledge and support other colleagues.

“As deputy locality manager for West Norfolk, I support the implementation of trust strategy with the locality manager and other senior staff. There are many challenges; not least being a trust in special measures; working in a climate when it is difficult to recruit nurses and doctors.

“My role gives me the opportunity to involve service users and carers and ensure that lessons are learned and feedback is used to improve services. The contact I have with patients and carers and the ability to influence change in the pursuit of improving care remains the most motivating factor for me in working in NSFT.”

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