We welcome many students on placements at LCH and aim to give them opportunities that will help them develop in their chosen field. Jenanne joined our Health Visiting team on a placement, and below she shares not only her experience of working in that service but also shadowing the senior management team...
"As a student health visitor who is soon to qualify, the opportunity to spend part of my training on Alternative Practice was attractive. This afforded me time to shadow other professionals and services to gain an insight into their practice and as such, I spent time with community midwives, school nurses, those who provide services for children with additional needs and shadowing health visitors in another NHS trust (amongst others). As illuminating as these experiences were, I couldn’t help but wonder what life was like at the top of the tree – and was very gratified when Thea, chief executive at LCH, agreed to have me shadow her for the day.
On the surface of it, spending the day in the Quality Committee and Senior Management Team meetings may not sound that interesting. But I was astonished at the breadth and scope of the services which LCH provides – and the commitment that those involved have towards providing quality care to all our service users. One guiding principle, it emerged, should underpin all care: would you want a loved one being cared for by this service? If the answer is no, then concepts of ‘quality’ and ‘targets’ are irrelevant. We should all strive towards this gold standard, and not tolerate anything less no matter how challenging our clinical environment.
Another powerful message which I took away was that decision-making can be characterised by clarity and speed. It is appropriate to ask ‘why not?’ when others put up barriers to change; it is not enough to accept that things cannot be changed because they have always been done that way, or because there are personal politics at stake. Instead we must all ensure we are working as a team in both our locality and as part of the trust as a whole.
Far from being abstract and aloof, the fundamental message that I took away from the day was that those in senior management have an acute perception of what things are really like for staff ‘on the ground’ and that we are all working together towards the same goal: providing safe, transparent and top quality care for all who use our services."
Jenanne Fletcher, student health visitor
To find out more about the Health Visiting team, click here.