How would you describe your role to someone you’ve just met?

I am the Head of Health Care at HMP Liverpool which is a category B Prison based in the North West. HMP Liverpool has the capacity to hold 1,250 prisoners. My role is to lead a multi-disciplinary team to deliver health and social care to patients within the secure environment. Within health care there are approximately 150 staff across four key partnerships from various sectors. A key part of my role is to manager the performance of the Health & Justice Indicators ensuring we deliver best practice across offender health.

What does your typical working day look like?

My day is hugely varied and starts early.  I chair an early morning Safety Huddle with the team and then any number of workstreams across strategy, operations, finance, clinical and/or governance start my day.  The environment is unpredictable and shares competing priorities most of which centre around risk management, safety and clinical decision making. The working week almost always incorporates work with commissioners, Public Health, serious incidents and performance.

What made you want to become a nurse?

My Mum and eldest sister were both nurses and each of them had their own individual influence over my desire to work in the caring profession. I grew up listening to beautiful stories of hope and compassion with examples of how nurses can make a difference to peoples’ lives. The women in my family were very capable and dynamic and so on reflection nursing was always an obvious choice.

What attracted you to your current role?

I am enormously passionate about offender health and I am keen to make a difference leading and supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.   The opportunity to raise the profile of prison nurses and improve the health inequalities that exist within this unique population has been the driving force.  The challenge has been managing a successful transformation at HMP Liverpool and creating a whole system change.

Who has had the biggest impact on your career?

So many brilliant people have impacted on my career choices – but I once looked after a patient when I was working as a Substance Misuse Specialist in New Zealand and he left a profound impact on me, having overcome significant trauma and a lengthy prison sentence.  I understood in that moment the difference compassion could make and recognise this as a pivotal moment.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

It has a bit of everything and runs at pace.  It is a unique specialism on one hand but transcends so much of nursing care on the other, much in the same way a community health centre does.  Specifically, caring for patients with such complexity, acute presentations of mental health, substance misuse and physical health allows me to work at my very best.