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I currently work as the service manager of a service providing care for 24 people with Learning Disabilities. The service is split into 4 bungalows of 6 beds each, catering for people with learning disabilities and complex needs. One of our bungalows provides care for individuals with acquired brain injury and physical disability.
Within my role, I ensure safe, person centred and effective care throughout the service, monitor standards, oversee governance and ensure health and safety procedures are adhered to. My role also includes management of staff, maintaining high morale and ensuring appropriate staff development. A multidisciplinary approach is utilised ensuring person centred care, prioritising safety and the rights of the service user. I am involved in commissioning new services and ensuring a smooth transition from long stay hospital settings to a community placement.
I am a Registered Nurse Learning Disabilities for 16 years with 11 years’ experience in management. I am a strong advocate for the individuals I care for. I have a degree in health studies and also have a QCF Level 5 in Leadership in health and social care. Since qualifying as a nurse, I have also worked within the independent sector.
I was extremely proud to have moved from a staff nurse role to a management role within a short period of time, I was mentored well by my previous managers to reach a management role within 4 years of qualifying.
Recently, my dedication to the learning disability sector was recognised at the RCN Nurse of the Year 2017 awards where I received recognition as runner up in the Chief Nursing Officer Award. I also led a team to receive Runner up in the Independent Health Care Providers awards 2017. In addition to this at the Independent Health Care Providers awards, I won Allied Provider of the Year 2014.
I would have to say that the most enjoyable aspects of the job role, is when you walk into a bungalow in the morning during a round, and you get a great big cheer from the clients who live there, who then gather round you to say “Hi”. I love working with them, bettering their lives by providing opportunities to help them integrate into the community.
I would advise those nurses working within the independent sector to become involved in the wider learning disability field of nursing, attend professional development forums and study days to ensure good networking and this will ultimately enhance the lives of the people you care for.
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