I’m fascinated by the power of the mind and how easily it can turn against us. You’ll often find that people who work in mental healthcare have had personal experience watching a loved one suffer with mental illness. No matter how strong a person seems, my eyes were opened to how easily it can happen. It’s the reason I started.
I’ve always been involved in service development and quality improvement, but I also love being a nurse, so leaving the role of charge nurse behind was no easy choice. But Langley Green is the opposite of what I expected. I saw the resilience and commitment of this team. They were so welcoming, so excited to be here. I knew as soon as I looked around that I was in the right place. I’m busier than I have ever been and I love the challenge. In the long run I’d like to train to be a lecturer and I know Sussex Partnership will support me.
Sussex Partnership are person-centred and value-based. I have absolutely no doubt that we’re on our way to Outstanding. It’s all about inspiring people to take the initiative and I feel like I’ve been singing from the rooftops since I arrived!
We create a family for patients, and each other
I still take a weekly shift on the ward. This was an innovative idea from our Director of Nursing, so we can see what’s needed, and where, and I think we’re all agreed it’s the nursing team, including the healthcare assistants, who hold it all together.
When I hear my team talking to patients, it sounds like a couple of friends talking. I’m proud of that. We just discharged a lady from the ward and the way our team managed her anxieties was amazing. She is now training to be a peer support worker, which is an incredible turnaround. Our peer support workers are all ex-patients, they create a family for patients and each other.
When you look at a patient’s photo on their medication chart and notice the difference in their appearance from when they first arrived, to feel their gratitude and that of their families and carers, there is nothing more rewarding. We’re not just talking about getting people well. The reality is that people can, and do, relapse. But with the right care they are able to leave and do something positive and you can stop them having to come back to us. You help them to heal and then put on their armour, ready for the outside world.