Category Archives: Focus on Staff

FOCUS ON STAFF: Karen Elliker- Macmillan Nurse: “Time to spend with patients.”


Karen is the sort of nurse you want on your side. She will fight for you tooth and nail- and does not mind who she takes on! For me (sparing her blushes) its because she cares about the patient. Nothing is too much trouble. anyway, read her responses and if you want yours included then send me a paragraph.

What do you do?

I am a hospital based Macmillan Nurse and I have been doing this work now for 6 years.

What does your career look like?

I have been qualified for the over 31 years and have a varied career mainly within A/E. I changed my career in 2007 after being lucky enough to undertake a secondment to the palliative care team.

Why do you do what you do?

I love what I do mainly because I can make a difference when it matters most. The most satisfying part of my work is when I can help bring to fruition patient’s wishes for end of life care.

Any interesting times?

My best memories revolve around my career and especially around meeting my husband of 22 years.
As a junior sister within an A/E department in Birmingham an ambulance crew arrived with a drunk patient who promptly got off the stretcher and thumped me. One of the ambulance crew was to become my future husband.

What about your team?

I work with a lovely team of people. We are close and very supportive of each other, this is extremely important as the work we do can be quite distressing and at times draining.

What do patients say about you?

The response from patients and relatives that I have in my care is normally positive. They very much appreciate my involvement. I think much of this is because we have time to spend with patients and relatives that other ward based staff do not have due to other pressures.

And what about the NHS?

I have worked at WRH now for 12 years in total and love it. There is a lot of unrest around the trust at the moment but at the end of the day the staff remain positive and continue to work hard. I have never worked in such a friendly supportive environment.

Anything else?

Hope that this is not too long and boring for you all to read.


FOCUS ON STAFF: Staff Nurse Kathryn Norwood RN (Laurel Unit). True Nursing

minnie nurse

Kathryn send this picture of herself!

Kathryn is one of my favourite nurses (I know you shouldn’t have favourites but I have many and you are probably one of them as well). She called me in to Laurel one dark evening to pray with a fragile elderly lady who wanted a prayer for forgiveness. The fact that Kahterine had the presence of mind and emotional intelligence to recognise that the spiritual needs of this patient were important is all credit to her. When I got to the ward she treated the lady with such warmth and compassion that it was obvious that she had spent time really nursing her.

Here she answers some questions and speaks openly and frankly about her nursing.

Who are you and where do you work?

My name is Kathryn. I am a staff nurse at Worcester Royal Hospital, I became a nurse because I wanted to help people I always admired the nurses who looked after a young friend of mine was admitted with a brain tumour. They were amazing and ever since that day I wanted to help and change people’s lives the way they did.

What is nursing about for you?

To me nursing is all about the patient it’s what they need from medication and infusions to a simple chat and polite conversation. I feel that there is too much influence on what nurses can and can’t do based on the budget the hospital gives each ward, but we still do our best. I love nothing more than when I get a chance to sit down and talk to a patient about what they used to do and what their jobs is now, or even what family they have at home. I find I get more information from them when you show a genuine interest and take the time to listen instead of simply filling out assessments and reading their notes; patient interaction is key to getting their care right.

Can you remember an event when you were proud of the care you gave?

One example that I am proud of the care I and the staff I work with provided was when I was talking to a patient and discovered that he had been planning to get married, due to them being in hospital it had been postponed. The patient was palliative, but thanks to efforts made by staff on the ward and Drs alike we were able to have a service for him in our procedure room. The patient expressed to me afterwards that it was a great weight off his mind knowing that he was married, and his family were so very grateful that we were able to do this for him.

What are your dreams and aspirations?

I would love to be able to go abroad when there is a crisis and help, I always see aid workers and Drs going to help and would love to be able to go and help. Other than that at the moment I’m happy being a little old staff nurse, who works on a wonderful ward with wonderful staff who work hard together to provide the best care we can and meeting amazing people.

Anything else you want to say?

I sometimes feel like nurses in general are always put down , the bad things that happen are always made more of a deal of than the good, and there is a lot of good being done throughout the hospital.

There are things I’d change but the main thing would be the staffing levels on wards. Sometimes if you’ve got several admissions into your team on a ward, due to the fact you have a time limit to complete the paperwork you spend more time with the new patients sorting paperwork then observing the patients you already have. Patient care should come first not paperwork, and there is far too much paperwork. But anyway in general I love working at Worcester royal hospital and have no intention from moving any time soon.

FOCUS ON STAFF: Chief Exec and Matron talk about their jobs…

A Ward Sister reminded me the other day that “we are not robots” (thanks Donna- Avon 3). And she is right. We come to work with hopes and aspirations and pressures and a back story of family and friends and experience. Here the Chief Executive Penny Venables and Matron Alison Davis answer my questions frankly and openly. What would your answers be?

Penny Venables: Chief Executive
chief exec

What job do you do? Chief Executive (and occasional Health Care Assistant helper – see here:

What led you into this job? I joined the NHS in 1983 straight from University as a Higher Clerical Officer working on a reception in a Health Centre. I have worked my way up since then.

Why is what you do important? I actually think what all our staff do in looking after patients is the most important work in the Trust. My role is to try and guide and develop an organisation that helps them do that .

What are some of your best memories so far? Winning our recent award as one of the top 40 hospitals, working alongside nursing staff on one of our wards recently to really see what we do and listening to one of our patients say ‘nothing is too much trouble for your staff’. Just a few of many great memories

How would you describe your colleagues? Hardworking, dedicated, supportive and completely focussed on improving and developing services for our patients

What do patients say about you and the Trust? They tell us about all the great care they get across the trust and very often pick out individual members of staff for praise. I increasingly get great letters and posts on the website saying thank you for the care received.They also tell us where we sometimes get things wrong and I would encourage those comments as well to help us say sorry and put things right as soon as we can.

What else would you like people to know? Just to say a big thank you to all our staff for the great work and care they give everyday, even when we are really, really busy as we have been over the last few months I know they go the extra mile.


What job do you do? Seconded matron for surgery, Outpatients, and pre operative service.I always wanted to be a nurse, had nurse uniform dressing up for presents from a very young age.

Why do you do what you do? I am passionate about looking after and helping people, want to make a difference to patients’ lives.

How did it all start? I trained in Liverpool, will always remember the day I qualified, told everyone I met on that day that I had qualified, even the bus driver, he thought I was mad! I qualified as a registered general and paediatric nurse. Worked with children to start with at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Knotty Ash. When I had my own family I found nursing children extremely challenging.

How is your job now? I am relatively new to the seconded Matrons role, I have fantastic colleagues, we work extremely well together as a team. I have support from other matrons and senior staff and from Beech staff.

Is your job rewarding? I have had some really positive feedback from patients as I go round the wards they are all mainly impressed with meeting a Matron, I probably spent too much time talking, but feel that I do put problems right on many occasions before they have a chance to escalate.

And what about the pressures? Like all nurses I have a moan and groan regarding the pressures we are all under, but I truly love my job and would certainly not be here if I did not feel as I do.
I am also passionate about looking after my staff, being part of the team and providing staff support when needed.

And what about you? Outside work I live at home with my lovely husband and daughter, I am training to ride a motor bike, enjoy reading and gardening and my treat of the week to have a Friday night curry and glass of wine.