I have had a long and varied background in the independent sector. I worked for nine years as a registered manager and then a senior nurse leader within a corporate nursing home group, before moving on to work within health care regulation for eight years, firstly as a registration and inspection officer, and then as a senior quality reviewer. I then established my own consultancy business, which I operated for four years offering management advice, training and policy development to the private, voluntary sector and others.
Around seven years ago I started work as a senior professional development officer with the RCN in NI. In this role I was the lead for the independent sector and was responsible for developing and implementing a local independent sector strategy. As part of this I developed and delivered a number of professional development opportunities for the independent sector, including a tailor made nurse leadership programme for nursing home managers. I also established an RCN NI independent sector nurse manager’s network which remains active and engaged. More recently I have worked within the employment relations department as a senior employment relations officer.
My hopes for my new role as RCN Independent Sector Lead are that by truly engaging with members employed within this sector and hearing their views we can build on much of the good work that is already happening within the RCN and provide a level of support and service that is relevant and accessible to our members.
This is undoubtedly a very challenging time for our members working within the independent sector. Central to this challenge is the current shortage of registered nurses which makes recruitment, retention and continuity of care extremely difficult.
However there are also many opportunities for our members, not least the opportunity to change practice and directly influence how care is delivered and experienced by the patient.
The RCN is a professional organisation that represents nurses and nursing irrespective of where nurses are employed or services are delivered. It is recognised that the independent sector is a changing and growing sector and the RCN’s commitment to its members is one of the drivers for revisiting the RCN independent sector strategy at this time.
I am really looking forward to engaging with RCN staff and the membership who will be pivotal in shaping the direction of the strategy.