Royal College of Nursing Representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice, shaping health policies

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Meet the Team

Ruth Bailey

Ruth Bailey, QN - Forum Chair

Twitter:  RuthRGNBrighton

What is your Current Role?
Advanced Nurse Practitioner Sexual Health, Primary Care
FSRH Council Nurse Member

What do you enjoy most about your current role?
Being able to make a difference to women, particularly those who are marginalised in society. I thrive on the diversity of my role and enjoy working with women across all ages and backgrounds, discussing choices in contraception, menopause and managing sexual health. I particularly enjoy teaching and undertaking practical procedures like LARC fitting.

What was your best career move?
Taking a year out to complete an MSc in Nursing before I had children.

What inspires and motivates you?
I am motivated by injustice and I am constantly inspired by the power of nursing to touch people’s lives.

What prompted you to join the women’s health forum?
The opportunity to work with like-minded nurses, develop resources, shape policy, campaign and influence policy in Women’s Health.

If you were the Health Secretary and could make one singe change, what would it be?
I would give Nurses and Midwives a realistic and meaningful pay rise that reflected the skills and expertise of our safety- critical profession to address the workforce crises that currently prevents women accessing the care they deserve.

What book should every nurse read?
“Nursing Management of Women’s Health: A guide for Nurse Specialists and Practitioner’s” Edited by Debra Holloway

What would you still like to achieve in your career?
To progress my skills in menopause care and to work with marginalised women overseas.

Where would we find you when you are not working in Women’s Health?
On the beach! I am always energised by a run on the seafront or a dip in the sea.

Emma Ayling

Emma Ayling

What is your current role?
Gynaecology Matron

What do you enjoy most about your current role?
I love being able to realise improvements for our staff and the services we provide for our women. I like being able to retain my clinical skills and be able to support my areas when they need me.

What was your best career move?
Changing from Neurosciences to Gynaecology early on in my career. It set me on a path that has brought me to where I am today, for which I am very grateful.

What inspires and motivates you?
My patients and my staff – seeing the difference you can make to someone is very rewarding. I am passionate about Gynaecology and in particular, Early Pregnancy care.

What prompted you to join the Women's Health Forum committee?
I had met some of the members through the newly formed Gynaecology Matron network and was inspired to apply. To be able to collaborate with like-minded people, who are just as passionate about Women's Health as I am.

If you were the Health Secretary and could make one single change, what would it be?
To make Women's health just as important as other services. For too long, women's health has been on the back burner and I would like to help make our voices louder and heard, to provide the services that women deserve to have.

What book should every nurse read?
The Promises of Giants by John Amaechi - really inspirational reading that can be applied across so many levels.

What would you still like to achieve in your career?
To achieve my Masters in Gynaecology and develop myself into a blended role as Matron/ANP.

Where would we find you when you are not working in women's health?
At home with my husband and cat, in the garden or sewing. Spending quality time with friends and family.


Katherine Christopher

Katharine Christopher

What is your current role?
Clinical Nurse Specialist in Endometriosis 

What do you enjoy most about your current role?
I love when patient’s realise that I understand, you can see people almost breathe a sigh of relief when they realise they don’t have to put up a fight anymore (regarding diagnosis / treatment of endometriosis). I also love patient education, as think this enables patient choice.

What was your best career move?
Applying to do my PgCert in Gynaecology and Early Pregnancy Ultrasound. But before that applying for a role in Gynaecology in the first place!

What inspires and motivates you?
My patients – seeing the difference you can make to someone’s day / health / life is really inspirational. Learning – I hope I never stop learning and am always willing to learn a new skill.

What prompted you to join the Women's Health Forum committee?
To work alongside a group of like-minded people, who are passionate about Womens Health and supporting the thousands of nurses who are too. I felt that it was a great opportunity to be involved in something ‘bigger’ and I am very grateful.

If you were the Health Secretary and could make one single change, what would it be?
It would be fantastic to get rid of the ‘post code lottery’. The access to different services for patients across the UK is quite something.

What book should every nurse read?
Nursing Management of Womens Health. Although recently my grandmother-in-law gave me a copy of ‘Aids to Gynaecological Nursing’ from 1947 and it’s amazing to see how much, and sometimes how little, has changed!

What would you still like to achieve in your career?
I’d love to be an ANP or Consultant nurse.

Where would we find you when you are not working in women's health?
Out walking my rescue greyhound, out in search of the best almond croissant or at home listening to jazz or trance (quite different, I know!). 

Charlotte Deakin

Charlotte Deakin

What is your current role?
Lead Nurse at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service which provides abortion care. I also work on bank in Sexual Health and Contraception as a Specialist Nurse.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?
I love speaking to such a variety of clients and patients, and particularly making a difference to those who are vulnerable. I also love working in a role which is at the forefront of politics.

What was your best career move?
Leaving ward nursing and training to be a specialist nurse in Sexual Health as I was able to learn a diverse skill set which is extremely transferrable.

What inspires and motivates you?
I am motivated to improve care for diverse populations and communities. I love to stay up to date with what is going on in Sexual and Reproductive Health as despite there still being a way to go, overall I think things are changing for the better.

What prompted you to join the Women's Health Forum committee?
I was excited to join the forum to gain an understanding of how things work within the wider healthcare landscape, and learn and grow from other committee members as we have such a diverse range of expertise and passions.

If you were the Health Secretary and could make one single change, what would it be?
Make Health Inequalities training mandatory for everyone who works in the NHS.

What book should every nurse read?
Any dystopian fiction focusing on women, such as The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, or Vox by Christina Dalcher.

What would you still like to achieve in your career?
I would like to contribute to the research around women’s health, be involved in continuing to improve abortion services and focus on utilising the role of the nurse within abortion care.

Where would we find you when you are not working in women's health?
If I'm not working I’ll either be curled up with a book as I love reading, or out walking my lovely little dog Phoebe.

Tori Heppell

Tori Heppell

What is your current role?
I am an early pregnancy Nurse Specialist & Sonographer, the manager of an Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit and Trust Clinical Lead for early pregnancy.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?
I have enjoyed working in women’s health in various roles for nearly 25 years. In my current role I have the benefit of being able to lead a fabulous team & community based service whilst continuing to provide hands on care to women.

What was your best career move?
Carrying out a PG Cert in diagnostic ultrasound. This enabled me to be able to care for women throughout their whole journey through the EPAU.

What inspires and motivates you?
The way all of the nurses in my team have developed their knowledge & skills to change & improve services for patients. 

What prompted you to join the women’s health forum committee?
Seeing the great work the forum do for women and nurses from afar motivated me to want to become part of it. I am very excited to start working with a group of likeminded nurses who are also passionate about women’s health & nursing. 

If you were the health secretary and could make one single change what would it be?
Fair pay. This would in turn help to make many of the other changes needed. 

What book should every nurse read?
Oxford Handbook of Women’s Health Nursing.

What would you still like to achieve in your career?
I would like to complete a MSc in Women’s Health & become a Nurse Consultant one day.

Where would we find you when you are not working in women’s health?
Spending time with my husband, 2 daughters & dogs…….. preferably on a beach somewhere!

Debra Holloway, FRCN

What is your current role?
retired was a Nurse Consultant Gynaecology
Menopause specialist

What do you enjoy most about your current role?
undertaking projects and support practitioner with menopause work

What was your best career move?
Nurse consultant role.

What inspires and motivates you?
Improving women's health specifically menstruation issues and menopause. ability to mentor and support nurses working in Womens health roles

What prompted you to join the Women's Health Forum Committee?
Co-opted onto a project a long time ago, really enjoyed the working group and then joined a sub group and then encouraged to join the steering group.

If you were the Health Secretary and could make one single change, what would it be?
Free prescriptions for women with POI.

What book should every nurse read?
Women's health nursing Oxford Handbook by myself.

What would you still like to achieve in your career?
Development of a trainee nurse consultant.

Where would we find you when you are not working in women's health?
Walking in London or Devon, eating out.

Michael Neville

Michael Nevill

What is your current role?
Clinical Director at the National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service (NUPAS)

What do you enjoy most about your current role?
I love the fact that I am in a position where I can support both our staff and our clients. As the clinical lead at NUPAS I ensure that their voice is heard right throughout the organisation. Through policy and audit writing I also help to ensure that our clients get the best possible care in a supportive environment.

What was your best career move?
A few years ago, I was in a job that I really didn’t enjoy and therefore my employers were not getting the best out of me, and so I decided that I had to go. I could have stayed, however the move I made was the best thing I could have done; therefore, I would advise anyone not to stay in a role they don’t enjoy. Nursing is such an amazing career, you can easily change your pathway.

What inspires and motivates you?
I have always believed that patients should receive the care that you would want for yourself or your loved ones. I am therefore motivated to ensure that we deliver the best care possible.

What prompted you to join the Women's Health Forum committee?
The opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues and shape national policy.

If you were the Health Secretary and could make one single change, what would it be?
Legislation on minimum staffing levels.

What book should every nurse read?
If you’re reading this then you should read Nursing Management of Women’s Health edited by D.Holloway.

What would you still like to achieve in your career?
I would like to undertake some work in a developing country, and possibly a PhD.

Where would we find you when you are not working in women's health?
Usually in the kitchen baking, and while the cake is baking, I’ll be found in the garden.

Dr Wendy Norton - RCN Fellow

What is your current role?
Researcher

What do you enjoy most about your current role?
My research focuses on themes at the intersection of women's health, reproduction, and equality and diversity. I enjoy listening to service users’ experiences of healthcare and using this information to advance knowledge and care delivery.

What was your best career move?
Moving from general gynaecology into the more specialised field of fertility, and being able to combine clinical practice and research in this area.

What inspires and motivates you?
Listening to the voices of patients and translating these findings and knowledge into clinical practice, to impact policies and practice guidance, and to enhance care and outcomes for service users.

What prompted you to join the women’s health forum?
I am passionate about promoting women’s health and wanted to contribute to, and develop initiatives, that influence practice and improve women’s health care provision

If you were the Health Secretary and could make one single change, what would it be?
To address the inequalities and structural determinants that often reinforce stigma and taboo about women’s health issues such as menstruation and menopause, and may restrict women’s access to health services

What book should every nurse read?
Nursing Management of Women’s Health: A Guide for Nurse Specialists and Practitioners by Debra Holloway

What would you still like to achieve in your career?
More research focussing on the experiences of marginalised patient groups within healthcare settings to enable us to capture previously unheard voices in research, and provide evidence for shaping the delivery of high-quality patient care.

Where would we find you when you are not working in women’s health?
I love to travel and learn more about different cultures, so sightseeing somewhere in the world.

Contact

Professional Lead: Carmel Bagness - Follow the forum on Twitter @RCNWomensHealth

Page last updated - 10/01/2024