Guest blog: Claire Maidment (International Nurses Day)
It is an absolute honour to be writing this blog to celebrate International Nurses day, a day which is very close to my heart! I come from a family of nurses; my great grandmother and grandmother were both nurses in Chester during the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and my great grandmother even set up a Nightingale Ward at Eaton Hall in Chester, where she nursed soldiers returning from the front line. It’s hard to believe just over one hundred years later the UK would be setting up Nightingale Hospitals to meet a very different challenge!
My mum was the third generation of women in our family to go into nursing. She provided community care to the people of Cheshire and Wirral, and after seeing the amazing impact she and her colleagues had on people’s lives, I decided to follow in her footsteps to become a health visitor. I began my nursing career in Sheffield in 1990 as a student nurse, which gave me the opportunity to work in a range of large city hospitals. After qualifying in 1993, I secured a job on the Haematology Ward at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral.
In 1996, I achieved my life-long dream and qualified as a health visitor. I worked in this role until 2011, when I was given the incredible opportunity to become a Family Nurse Supervisor and manage a team of specialist nurses providing support to first time young parents.
I have a real passion for public health and the importance of providing support to families on a range of issues. In 2019 I was appointed to a Consultant Nurse post which is an amazing job as it allows me to remain clinically focussed but also provides me with the opportunity to work strategically, influencing the delivery of services to support families - this role has been particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic where we have had to re-design how our service is delivered to families as most contacts are being undertaken by video conferencing or telephone rather than in the home.
Last year during a celebration of nursing at CWP, I was presented with a Silver Award by chief nursing officer for NHS England Ruth May for my work leading the Family Nurse Partnership.
This year sees me celebrate 30 years as a Nurse and I am delighted my daughter is soon to become the fifth generation as she commences her nurse training this September at Chester University.
I feel extremely privileged to be a nurse in the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife and a part of the NHS as it deals with one of its biggest challenges in modern times.