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Our staff stories

Find out what our staff have to say about working for Berkshire Healthcare. 

What do you do?

"I work in the Diabetes specialist Podiatry service which provides urgent treatment of diabetic foot complications in the King Edward VII Hospital and also at Wexham Park Hospital. I treat people and review their progress until their diabetic foot ulcer has cleared up.

"I also teach patient and health care professionals about diabetic foot as a condition".

What is the most challenging part of your job?

"Due to the complexity of conditions affecting patients attending the Diabetes Specialist Podiatry service, the challenge is to be fully prepared for all complications that people may have and to make sure that the appropriate referrals and care are provided, in the right place and with the best team for optimum care.

What makes you proud to work here?

"I am proud of how the Diabetes Specialist Podiatry Service within the Diabetes Centre has been involved in the development of the multi-disciplinary Diabetic Foot team, working closely with the Diabetes Consultant, Dr Heffernan, in providing a ‘one stop shop’ for patients with complex diabetic foot ulcers. Early access and management is provided by a team that includes vascular surgeons, a microbiologist, an orthotist and other health professionals involved in providing the optimum treatment for patients with complex diabetic foot ulcerations.

"I have recently been joined by Nicola Jarvis, Senior Podiatrist, in supporting the multi-disciplinary diabetic foot team clinics, and I hope the service will continue to expand to meet local needs".

What do you enjoy the most?

"I enjoy the fact that the role is always evolving. I enjoy being involved in the patient’s healing process and their rehabilitation. I enjoy working within the multi-disciplinary Diabetic Foot team and seeing the benefits we provide for patients with complex diabetic foot ulcerations. I love the educational aspect of my role, one to one, meeting different patient groups and health care professional groups".

What is the one thing you would like people to know about?

"I feel it is important for health care professionals who treat patients with diabetic foot ulcers to refer early as early intervention leads to a more successful result for the patient.

"The emphasis on patients attending their annual diabetic foot review and understanding their own diabetic foot risk status is essential. I would want patients with diabetes to know there is a whole team dedicated to looking after their feet if they do have a problem, and working so closely with Dr Heffernan, we have many success stories to tell".

What do you do?

"I’m Staff Nurse at Bluebell Ward in Prospect Park Hospital. This is an acute ward where we support patients who are very distressed. Our main part of the job is to ensure that patients feel safe in the ward, that they settle here and that the admission process runs as smoothly as possible. We do work very closely with the patients, but also with their family and carers. We liaise with many different services to assist the patients during their stay on the ward, but also once they are discharged".

What is the most challenging part of your job?

"We are very busy ward and we try our best to respond to all our patients requests/queries as soon as we can. However sometimes this can be very demanding and challenging as you can have five patients wanting to be helped at the same time".

What makes you proud to work for us?

"I am very happy to be working in here in Bluebell Ward. The staff here are fantastic, our work with patients is really nice, you see them come in, you help them and you see them get well".

What do you enjoy the most?

"It is very fulfilling role. When you see patients coming in very unwell and then you watch the progress they make, it is such a good feeling. It is great satisfaction to see them getting better and going home and knowing that this is also result of your work".

What is the one thing you would like people to know?

"I would like it if the stigma that is attached to mental health could be reduced. When you mention Prospect Park Hospital, many people imagine that is it only for very psychotic people. I would like this perception to be changed – Prospect Park and mental health in general is very open and people need to realise that all of us might need help one day.

"I believe that through public education and open discussion this stigma could be diminished. Many people would benefit, as they would learn that they don’t have to wait until they are really ill, but actually could get help earlier".

What do you do?

Lisa: "We work with a range of people with neurological conditions including stroke, head injuries, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and Huntingdon’s disease, mainly in their homes.

"It’s our job to help people identify and achieve rehabilitation goals that are meaningful to them, whether that’s doing practical things around the home, returning to their hobbies or going back to work. As an occupational therapist I set, and support patients with, activities such as practising getting washed and dressed, preparing meals and using cutlery, hand exercises, handwriting and using a keyboard".

Claire: "I work closely with Lisa and focus on helping people to improve their muscle strength, range of movement and balance. I might support them to get back to doing their favourite leisure activity, for example accompanying them to the gym or swimming pool, and I set exercises for them to do at home so they can be as mobile and independent as possible".

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Claire: "We guide patients and their families to be realistic about what can be achieved in the time we have. Sometimes, especially for bed-bound patients, it is about setting goals that maintain a person’s range of movement rather than returning to how they were before".

Lisa: "Encouraging patients to continue practising their tasks and exercises between sessions can be challenging. We are here to help by guiding and supporting people but they need to do the hard work. The work we do in the sessions will only benefit patients if they keep the momentum up when we are not there and take responsibility for their health and wellbeing".

What makes you proud to work for us?

Lisa: "It is great working here, we are supported, our team is well-resourced with a mix of professionals and we are well-managed. Our team leader is excellent. There is a real sense of team work and we all work towards a common goal: the patient’s well-being".

Claire: "We are really listened to, both within our service and the organisation. We are asked for our opinions, can put our ideas forward and I feel that I have been able to contribute to the development of our service.

"We also have a really good Learning and Development team and there are funds available for professional development. Both Lisa and I have been on courses and have been able to use what we have learned to the benefit of our patients".

What do you enjoy the most?

Claire: "Helping patients to achieve their goals. We have done some obscure things including helping one patient who was a tree surgeon to use an electric chain saw and another patient with a paraplegic hand to play pool again. Making rehabilitation real for people, with goals that are meaningful to them, is something you just cannot do in a hospital environment".

What is the one thing you would like people to know?

Lisa: "We are here to help you engage in activities that are important and meaningful to you, to get you back to the role you had before a stroke or injury, or help you participate in life as fully as you can if you have a degenerative condition. We are not just here to help you with the obvious self-care and domestic activities you need to be able to do; we think it is just as important to help you get back to going to the shops, meeting your friends and taking part in social activities".

What do you do?

"I am a Mental Health Act Administrator’s Assistant, based at Prospect Park Hospital. Our department looks out for the legalities of the detentions under the Mental Health Act and assist patients who wish to appeal against their detention. I would like to see my role as guardian of the patients but also of Berkshire Healthcare as we are making sure that everything is done correctly and according to law".

What is the most challenging part of your job?

"Timekeeping and ensuring that all deadlines are met. We are very busy department and we are regularly looking after more than 100 patients. There are very strict processes for reviewing all the legal aspects of detentions. Our work is very detailed and cannot be fast tracked as there could be serious consequences for the patient and for Berkshire Healthcare".

What makes you proud to work for us?

"We pride ourselves on being able to provide the best possible service within our roles. We are here for the patients and their best interest is always on our minds".

What do you enjoy the most?

"Originally I came to Reading for two weeks; over six years later I am still here, working for Berkshire Healthcare. Every single organisation is in fact the people who belong to it – I feel privileged I came across outstanding individuals whilst working here. I enjoy working with a great team, dealing with wide range of professionals and patients".

What is the one thing you would like people to know?

"Even though we are in administrative roles, administration relating to the Mental Health Act is never boring. Every day is a new challenge, every case is different, we learn something new on a daily basis".

What do you do?

"I qualified a year ago and since then have been working on Rowan Ward at Prospect Park Hospital in my first Staff Nurse role. I have learnt a lot here in my first year here as my job is very varied I am constantly learning new things.

"My main priority is to ensure that all people on the ward are safe and are receiving the correct medication. Not only do we work individually with patients, which is very fulfilling and enjoyable, we also work very closely with families, community healthcare professionals and social workers to create high quality care plans for our patients for when they return to their homes".

What is the most challenging part of your job?

"Some people arrive very upset and distressed, which is not nice to see, but we work together to overcome this and to help them get better".

What makes you proud to work for us?

"It must definitely be the success stories. It’s very rewarding to see patients’ health improve and return home".

What do you enjoy the most?

"Seeing people go home in better health than when they arrived and working within a very supportive team".

What is the one thing you would like people to know?

"I want to change people’s attitude toward mental health. People need to know that mental illness can happen to anyone and that help is available".

What do you do?

"I work within the community Podiatry team as a senior Podiatrist. My role is very diverse and I provide treatment and intervention for any foot complaint. I mainly deal with the wound care side of Podiatry but I also carry out nail surgery, ward visits and routine treatments.

"I have recently joined the multi-disciplinary Diabetic Foot Team and work within this one day a week.

"I work from 8:00 to 17:15 every day and have every other Monday off. I move around all of the hospitals in East Berkshire as required but my main base is King Edward VII Hospital".

What is the most challenging part of your job?

"The most challenging part of my job must be the complexity of some patient’s health problems. Managing these at times can be difficult and long term and you must be prepared for any complication that a patient has. There is also a psychological part of managing these patients and offering them the support and treatment required for high quality care".

What makes you proud to work for us?

"I am proud to work here when I hear patients praise my individual work or the team's work.

"I am also very proud to be involved in the MDFT providing early diagnosis and management for the complex diabetic patients. This has definitely changed the lives of many of our patients with the involvement of Dr Heffernan and the vascular team. Patients feel much more involved in the care pathway and are followed through from hospital back into community".

What do you enjoy the most?

"I enjoy being with patients and knowing that I am helping them. When a patient leaves your clinic room and say ‘I am walking on air’ there can be no better feeling.

"I also enjoy managing the wounds and being involved with the healing process. Working with the MDFT can be very hard work but when we all work together and in the same direction the results are brilliant".

What is the one thing you would like people to know?

"I think I would like people to have a better understanding of what a Podiatrist is. Historically we were seen as the ‘toe nail cutters’, but we are foot health specialists. We can treat anything from toenail cutting and callus, biomechanical problems, sports injuries, nail surgery and complex wound management".