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Adrian Smith

Name: Adrian Smith

Job title: Head of Governance and Quality

Speciality: Paediatric Palliative Care

Organisation: Ty Hafan Children's Hospice, Sully, Wales

What is your current role?

I'm the Head of Governance and Quality for Ty Hafan. This involves a wide range of responsibilities - mostly ensuring adhering to a range of local and national policies and procedures. I am  also responsible for education, service user feedback, research activities and audit. 

What was your route to this role?

Firstly, on qualifying in 2002, I worked on a general paediatric ward at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, as D grade staff nurse. Various groups of children, including medical, surgical, oncology, orthopaedic, Max Facs etc. I then moved home to Cardiff after 3 years, where I took a post in paediatric A&E. I went from D to E grade, then got a junior charge nurse role, and also became an Emergency Nurse Practitioner. I left A&E in 2015 to take up a Lead Nurse Role at Ty Hafan.

What prompted you to do this role?

I'd been working in A&E for 10 years, and following caring for a child who was at end of life in the department, who was known to Ty Hafan, I was asked if I wanted to visit the hospice, as I'd never been there. I visited, and then a few months later, having liked what I saw, I applied for a Lead Nurse role here at Ty Hafan. I'm currently seconded to the Head of Governance and Quality role, after  three and a half years here.

What education/courses/modules have you undertaken to equip you for the role?

Lots of shadowing, with the post holder, plus having an interest in governance was helpful. Governance was covered in leadership programmes I've attended, including service improvement and networking with others. I'm aiming to commence my MSc later this year. 

How do you see yourself developing your skills?

Further experience in governance, plus looking for MSc study that will complement the role I'm doing, plus looking at shadowing others in similar roles, attending meetings and conferences, and having an active part in sharing information with other hospices and partners in local health boards.

What is your long-term career plan?

I'm thinking about maybe more governance, perhaps with a more active role in patient experience, or even education. I've also considered looking at inspection roles. 

What advice would you give someone thinking about moving to work in your area of practice?

It's hard work, but worth persevering. Keep learning, and look out for courses and training that suit you, and you can apply to your future goals. Keep a wide view on what opportunities there are for your career, as although I was fixed on working in A&E forever, this can change!

What do you most enjoy about this area of care?

I like to be able to show how we effective we are as a team in delivering safe care. It's not all about the data, but it's about what difference we make to the CYP in our care, and how we can continually improve what we do. 

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