Steph joined our Trust at the end of May 2016 and brought with her 29 years of nursing experience. She began her career in Halifax in 1987 where she trained as a nurse and then worked for 10 years in A&E at Airedale General Hospital. During this time she also registered as a sick children’s nurse.
In 1998 Steph became a mum for the first time and found a move to NHS Direct was a better fit with family life, especially when her second child came along shortly after this.
It was in 2001 that Steph became a community nurse. She explains, “I wanted to get back to the grass roots of nursing and so I began working weekend shifts out in the community.That’s when I fell in love with community nursing. To me, it’s ‘proper’ nursing, where there is still the opportunity to have a nurse/patient relationship. I also enjoyed that degree of autonomy. It’s a privilege to be allowed into a person’s home to deliver care. It feels so very personal, not least when you are supporting a person at the end of life.”
Steph went on to complete district nurse training and joined an integrated team at a senior level in 2003. She also trained to be an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and non-medical prescriber. In 2008 and for the next 5 years, she played a key role in setting up the Intermediate Care System in Airedale. This involved bringing together out of hours District nursing and Rapid Response teams.
Steph says,“One of my proudest moments was our team winning the HSJ Partnership Award for our work on this.It was a real team effort and it was a wonderful feeling.”
With a wealth of experience to draw upon, Steph’s appointment to the senior nursing team at LCH will see her supporting Director of Nursing, Marcia Perry, to drive forward the Trust’s quality agenda:
“I see my role as being one that ensures that the Nursing and Allied Health Professional voice is strong. It’s my job to translate our strategy into meaningful operational delivery. We have a real opportunity to get things as good as they possibly can be. I believe everyone has something to offer in terms of making this happen.”
Steph is certainly well placed to offer this support to the team at LCH, being one of 9 members in the Yorkshire region of ‘Q’. Q is an initiative, led by the Health Foundation and supported and co-funded by NHS England which connects people skilled in improvement across the UK.
Steph lives in Baildon, a mile and half outside of the border with Leeds. Despite her new role within the city she has other strong links, her mum was born in Armley and several relatives still live in the city. With an 18 year old son who has just completed A-levels and a 15 year old daughter about to embark on her GCSE study, Steph doesn’t have huge amounts of spare time. When she does get the opportunity she loves to travel. Steph counts Kenya, the Seychelles and Australia amongst her favourite destinations.