Click here to find out more about Laura, her role and her hopes for the programme.
Tell us a little about you.
I am one of a team of Children’s Asthma Clinical Nurse Specialists working in the communities of Lambeth and Southwark.
My nursing background before asthma was urgent and emergency paediatrics. I qualified in 2010 in Southampton, and have worked in paediatric orthopaedics, paediatric assessment, and accident and emergency. I decided to pursue a specialist role in asthma, an area I found quite fascinating. Following a year working with incredible clinicians at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, I moved to the community by joining the Children & Young People’s Health Partnership (CYPHP) programme.
I have recently returned to work after being on maternity leave. Becoming a mum for the first time has given me a whole new perspective. I hope this will support me to become a better nurse, advocating for my families and hopefully perfecting the art of multi-tasking!
In my spare time I love winter sports, and in the past my husband and I have lived in the French Alps for the winter ski season. We are lucky to live beside the seaside, and so spend a lot of time outside exploring the beach and the woods.
How do you see the role?
When I made the decision to pursue a Community Nurse Specialist role, I was really quite worried that I would lose the sense of ‘doing some good’ that came with working in emergency care. What I now realise, having made the move to specialist practice, is that the acute presentation is just the tip of the iceberg when looking at the child or young person’s personal journey holistically. Asthma rarely presents alone, and I have found the emotional and mental health implications fascinating as I learn more and more about it. I have a passion for working with children, young people, and their families. I have found it really rewarding engaging patients over time, and being a force for change not only in their physical health, but emotional wellbeing, and quality of life too.
Often as health professionals, we can underestimate the power of ‘being there’ and having a point of contact for a condition that can sometimes be scary, limiting, and just plain irritating for our young people and their families. I hope that our patients leave the service feeling empowered, educated, and able to take control of their own health and wellbeing. No one should believe that it is ‘just asthma,’ and no child or young person should be living with limitations from a condition that is (on the whole) so manageable with good education, and effective, tailored intervention.
What is your hope for the CYPHP programme?
My main hope is that we have created a cohort of empowered, healthy, happy, and well children and families. I also hope that we learn together with our primary care colleagues, and that we will have helped to join up care so that the compartmentalised care based on which GP, hospital, or borough they sit under is a thing of the past.
I have met some truly incredible people who are part of CYPHP, I have joined networks, and learned such a great deal that I hope to keep with me throughout my career. Going forward, I hope that the programme continues to evolve, and our culture of learning spreads outside our immediate team to colleagues in all aspects of health and social care.
To see more of the latest news from CYPHP, please click here.