I qualified as a RSCN from St Bartholomew’s School of Nursing/City University in 1999. I was lucky enough to complement my training years by starting my nursing career as a paediatric nurse on the paediatric gastroenterology and endocrinology ward at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Within a few years, paediatric services had centralised at The Royal London Hospital and for most of my nursing career I have remained within Barts Health at The Royal London Hospital.
My early nursing years saw me flit between Gastroenterology and Endocrinology research nursing posts interspersed with some travel! Returning from my travels, I settled back into a career within paediatric gastroenterology as a junior sister on a paediatric medical/surgical gastro ward – developing a passion in continuing care for children and their families with complex long term gastroenterological and nutrition nursing and medical needs. I became the first Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) for Children and Young People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), an amazing opportunity to work as a key member of the MDT to develop a nationally and internationally recognised IBD service.
For the last seven years I have worked within the Paediatric Nutrition Team at The Royal London Hospital as the CNS for children with Intestinal Failure – continually developing the service to meet the needs of an ever-expanding complex patient group. During this time, I have established a National Paediatric Parenteral Nutrition Nurses group and also represent paediatric intestinal failure nursing on the NHS E Stakeholders Group and the National Intestinal Failure Working Group – BSPGHAN.
Although the numbers of children and young people with Intestinal Failure – requiring Home Parenteral Nutrition remain low in comparison to those of adults, the speciality is rapidly expanding with an extremely complex (medical and psycho-socially) patient group that are now flourishing into adulthood and therefore adult care services. Working together and understanding practices and learning from each other is pivotal to the success of transition and so very important to every process/pathway that we develop for safe and effective care. I look forward to being part of the process within the NNNG to bring adult and paediatric services together in support for one another and our patients.