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Providing a lead Regional role to enable the PHA to deliver it's key functions in relation to Antenatal screening . Monitoring of existing programmes to ensure delivery of high quality , safe and effective screening programmes. Improving existing screening programmes if necessary and implementing new screening programmes when needed.
Have a University Degree or relevant professional qualification at graduate or diploma level and worked for at least 3 years in a senior quality assurance / management or service improvement role.
have worked for at least 5 years in a senior quality assurance / management or service improvement role.
I worked in various maternity units across N. Ireland for approximately 15 years gaining experience in all aspects of midwifery from Antenatal clinic setting to Antenatal wards, labour wards and post natal wards. My passion at that time was labour ward and delivery and as part of labour ward staff I become involved in collecting annual statistics for the unit. ( This was before the introduction of NIMATS which now collects the data for us). Back then it entailed number counting from the delivery register.
Because I was given this task I developed my own system for collecting the data and when an Antenatal Screening Co-Ordinators post became available I was encouraged by my Co-Workers to apply.
This was a new post in our hospital, so following a successful interview I had to develop the post as I went. I worked part time for 8 years when my family were young, but when an opportunity came to go full time and cover the whole Trust as Antenatal screening Co-Ordinator I increase my hours to full time and took on the challenge.
I remained in this position for the next 5 years until taking on this current role.
Having worked in Antenatal Screening for 13 years I had gained a lot of experience insight and knowledge about the world of Antenatal Screening, but I felt like I needed a new challenge! I wanted to learn more about the bigger picture of Antenatal Screening i.e. on a N. Ireland Level and UK level. I felt confident that I could represent N. Ireland in this role.
It was also a good career progression opportunity and in the world of Antenatal Screening these opportunities are very infrequent.
Feeling part of the Public Health Agency which although it is a big organisation strives to make each and every staff member feel welcome and valued.
Good work life balance is encouraged, so I can work flexible hours if need be.
Getting to the UK meetings and feeling part of something bigger knowing that the work going on locally is both influenced by and influences what goes on UK wide.
Feeling that I am a support to the Trust Antenatal Screening Co-Ordinators and am there to help them in their roles.
Being part of a screening team that includes all sorts of different screening programmes that I know very little about , but am learning as I go.
Knowing that the Regional Guidelines that I develop will be used to help practice across N. Ireland.
Revising Regional guidelines and getting agreement from all parties affected by the guidelines. It is a very long process!!
Ensuring that the Antenatal Screening Programme is meeting the required standards set by the UK National Screening Committee. This requires the local Screening Co-Ordinators performing Audits on various aspects of the programme and feeding the results to me. It can be challenging when there is a delay in the feedback of these audits as it is out of my hands and the Co-Ordinators are very busy in there day to day running of the programme, leaving little time to do audits.
Support from colleagues within my workplace who were all very welcoming when I commenced the post.
Having the years experience that I had in the field of Antenatal Screening helped me immensely in the understanding of the new post.
It is a great career move and I would encourage anyone interested to take up the challenge.
Definitely experience in working in the field of Antenatal Screening is an advantage.
You must be happy and content with lone working as most of your work is done in your office working by yourself, however there are quite a lot of meetings to attend.
The Public Health Agency is a great organisation to work for . They really encourage work life balance and promote healthy lifestyles amongst the staff.
Reviewing National guidelines and being able to write Regional guidelines for N. Ireland from the National guidelines.
Communication skills - being able to contribute to meetings where there may be a lot of high powered people at.
Understanding of the Regional aspects of the role and how it impacts on the local workload of the Trust Antenatal screening Co-Ordinators.
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