“Virgin Care feels very different. It really does put the child and family first. That was something that really sold the job to me at interview and I can see and feel it happening in practice.”
What’s your role at Virgin Care?
I’m a band 5 nurse as part of Wiltshire’s Children’s Continuing Care team.
How did you join?
I joined Virgin Care in April 2017 after seeing an advert on NHS jobs and applied via that route. Before joining Virgin Care, I was working in the community as an enteral nurse specialist.
What’s your professional background?
I’m a registered children’s nurse. I qualified in 2001, working in acute environments in Paediatric Oncology, Paediatric Medicine, Adolescents and Bank and Agency work that enabled me to work in Emergency Departments and Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Before joining Virgin Care, I was an enteral nurse specialist for another provider. This meant I could bring community experience and knowledge of working for a company outside of the NHS into my current role.
What’s your role in Wiltshire’s Children’s Continuing Care team?
My role is to care for children with additional health needs in a variety of settings; home, schools. This can be day and night shifts and involve administering medications, tracheostomy care and personal care. I also write care plans to be used by the rest of the team; this is done with input from the child and their family. I provide support for support workers with 1:1s and office days to facilitate the running of the service and short notice rota changes. No two days are the same and it’s a real privilege to work within someone’s home environment and build close working relationships.
What are you working on at the moment to help everyone feel the difference?
As a team we are working on ensuring the child’s voice is heard. I am currently updating the care plans we use to guide the care given to make them more child-focused and ensure that information regarding likes/dislikes and anything that is important to the child is included. This so far has been great and really builds on those strong working relationships with families.
How has your role developed since you joined us?
I am quite a driven person and will always try to do my best for the team. As I was completely new to continuing care, a lot of things since I started have been working with the children and getting to know them and their families. I have started to take on call and offer out of hours support to families and members of staff. I have also been able to utilise the teaching skills I brought from my previous role and assist our local training team with some of the annual schools training.
What’s the most challenging part of your role?
Lone working can be quite a challenge at times but having the office time means you can bounce ideas and queries around with colleagues. Building relationships in a short period of time and gaining families’ trust is also a challenge, I have constantly told families what I have done before joining the team to make sure they feel confident with me caring for their child.
How have you felt the difference since you joined?
I’ve worked for an independent healthcare company before but Virgin Care feels very different. It really does put the child and family first (sadly something that doesn’t always happen within other healthcare settings). That was something that really sold the job to me at interview and I can see and feel it happening in practice.
What do you enjoy most about working for Virgin Care?
I really enjoy getting to know the families and know that the care I give really makes a difference to them.
What would you say to someone considering a role at Virgin Care?
I would say ‘go for it’. Virgin Care is enabling me to give the kind of time and care to families that I wanted to give whilst within the NHS but felt I couldn’t. The IT systems work and people are friendly if there is a problem.