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Ending well

Fiona Hibberts 2 Dec 2021

A challenge to think about what we will learn from the year 2021, COVID and beyond. My last blog as Chair of the forum, a career reflection.

As we wave goodbye to 2021, we continue to live in interesting times! Many still dealing with the effects of covid personally and professionally. I think we will all be experiencing increased pressure at work, home and life! But I’d like to encourage you all to take a moment to reflect on your year and especially what are your “Covid keeps?” what are the things that you have changed or done differently, for the better this year? Maybe joined some online learning or looking after yourself more? Virtual clinics have improved access for our patients, but I think that the focus on our wellbeing has been fantastic and I’m delighted this has gone to the top of the agenda in health and social care.

Forgive me for making this blog more personal, this is my final blog as Chair of our forum, as my term ends in December. I have very mixed emotions about it all. Of course I’m sad to be waving goodbye, as the forum has played a significant part in my career over many years, but yet so delighted to leave an incredible committee, individuals with such enthusiasm and drive for GI and improvement. Our strategy of listening, learning and leading, has been gaining momentum, despite the pandemic, we have made some progress and still have lots more in store. We have made great efforts throughout the year to link up with other specialist nursing / GI focussed network groups to ensure that we work collaboratively.

However, this also marks an end to my clinical career in the specialism …having just “hung up my scope!” GI has been my passion since 1996 – a year after I qualified and realised that community nursing, being scared of dogs…was just not my bag! It’s been an incredible journey since my first encounter with a cardiac patient in bowel obstruction! I’ve had amazing opportunities to lead and develop practice – by advancing assessment skills, diagnostics, prescribing, scoping and leading clinics. Improving access for patients, developing services locally and nationally. I’ve enjoyed every role from Staff Nurse to Consultant Nurse, Lecturer Practitioner to Nurse Endoscopist. The speciality has enabled me to learn so much, provided me opportunities to develop both personally and professionally. I’ve led educational initiatives, written text books and led service developments, but most of all I’ve met some incredible people – patients who have shown such resilience in the face of adversity, colleagues who continually strive to make things better for our patients and it’s been a privilege to journey with them all!

I have a corporate role now and will turn my attention to my research. This really has been the most neglected area of my career and I want to change that! I may have left the world of rectal examination, but you have not heard the last of me just yet!

I’m just grateful of the incredible opportunities that GI Nursing has given me, the people I’ve met along the way and the possibilities for the future. I think the famous quote from Nightingale, sums it all up rather well. “Rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than stand idly on the shore.” I’m glad to have played my part.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,


Fiona Hibbert

Fiona Hibberts

RCN Gastrointestinal Nursing Forum Chair

Head of the Nightingale Academy and Consultant Nurse, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Fiona leads postgraduate education and research within the trust

Page last updated - 02/05/2022