On 23 November 2023, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will once again mark Nursing Support Workers’ Day – a day to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution of nursing support workers to nursing teams, families, patients and carers across the UK.
GMMH is joining in this year’s celebrations by shining a spotlight on Nursing Support Workers in our teams.
Meet some of our Nursing Support Workers
Susan O'Toole, Nursing Assistant, Health and Justice Services
I have worked at GMMH for 23 years. I began in Forensic Mental Health and in 2020 I transferred to Health and Justice Services.
For the last two years, I have worked in healthcare, mainly in an inpatient unit. Three Support Worker vacancies were advertised within the primary care setting. I applied for one of the posts and was successful. I began working alongside general nurses.
My role involves second signing-controlled drugs on the wings, running a bloods clinic, interviewing new prisoners, carrying out ECGs, assisting the general nurses with their clinics, supporting GPs with their clinics on the wings and in the healthcare department.
Through my Support Worker role, I identified a need for more support for the prisoners on the wings.
One of the prisoners approached me and asked if he could ask me a question. His question was "I think my cancer has come back, what should I do?". I encouraged him to make an appointment to speak with the GP. He informed me that he was unable to read or write, so I made him an appointment. He spoke with the GP; bloods were taken, and a scan was arranged. All results came back clear.
My manager at the time was happy to support me with my initiative. I have since set up a service named "Ask for Susan". I have an app on the prison kiosk. This app enables prisoners to send me messages regarding any physical health concerns they may have. I reply to the messages, offering advice on who they should contact and go to the wings to discuss any concerns. The governors fully support me in this role. I have attended several meetings and have given brief presentations within the prison.
My project has been recognised as a Quality Improvement (QI) service. My aim is to extend "Ask for Susan" to the wider estate.
Libby Reeves, Nina Whittaker, and Constance Asiotu, Support Workers, Forensic Mental Health
Meet Libby Reeves, Nina Whittaker, and Constance Asiotu. They say their roles as Support Workers has given them the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of people, and that GMMH is the right place to develop their skills.
Libby loves her role because GMMH has not only supported her, but her family too.
Constance loves her role because it helps her to become a part of people’s lives and give back to society.
Nina loves her role as she thinks helping people is awesome. She thinks seeing service users do well and move on is a great thing to be part of.
Find out more about the day on the RCN website: www.rcn.org.uk/nursingsupportworkersday.