Female clinician at work

Why I love my job as a clinical lead

Michelle tells us about her role as a clinical lead in a prison environment.

I am originally from North London, but I moved to the West Midlands in 2005 after I met my husband and I have been living here for 17 years. I have made friends for life and consider it my home.

Headshot of Michelle
Michelle

I aspired to be a nurse from a young age as I naturally enjoyed taking care of others. At the age of 17 years old I sat an entrance exam at the Whittington Hospital in Highgate North London and unfortunately failed it. My confidence took a bit of a knock and I then looked at an alternative career path.

At the age of 35 years old I attended an open day at the University of Wolverhampton with a friend who was a nurse. A senior lecturer spoke to me, and we had a great discussion. Before I knew it, I was sitting a literacy and maths exam and then I had an interview for an adult student nurse post and was successful.

This was a new and exciting chapter in my life. I could not quite believe it after failing the entrance exam at 17 that I was now about to start studying at university at the age of 35. I undertook three years of training at the University of Wolverhampton which I really enjoyed, especially my placements, and the variety of patients I had the pleasure to care for and get to know.

I qualified as an adult nurse in December 2010 and embarked on my first nursing post as a head and neck nurse on a specialist ENT, maxillo-facial and ophthalmology ward at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. I looked after both elective (planned admissions) and emergency patients (referred from the GP, ED or via on call team). I was also exposed to a number of other patients from an array of other specialities including medical, orthopaedics, gynaecology, surgical, cardiology, mental health, learning disability, elderly care, vascular and many more which really ensured I developed a wide range of knowledge and skills.

I have a passion for education and in particular mentoring/coaching student nurses and undertook my SLAIP qualification in 2012. I later went on to become a sign off mentor which involved nurses in their third year and ensuring they were ready to be signed off and join the NMC register. It was rewarding to become a part of the student nurses journey and on qualifying I felt a sense of pride and still keep in contact with a number of my students to this day.

I have completed a number of degree modules and undertook the acute care degree to further enhance my knowledge at Keele University and the University of Wolverhampton.

After 10 years on my ward I decided to pursue a new pathway into Health in Justice and secured a band 6 team leader post at HMP YOI Brinsford in Featherstone, Wolverhampton and commenced in post June 2020. I had an interest in prison nursing and the challenges that would come with this due to the patient group and environment.

I then had the opportunity to step up as the primary care lead for two months in January 2021 and then applied for a clinical lead secondment in March 2021 which I did for 10 months and later secured the post on a permanent basis in November 2021.

Since working for Practice Plus Group I have had a vast amount of opportunities and education which has further developed my knowledge and skills as a nurse. I completed the professional nurse advocate qualification at master’s level seven in August 2021. I am now actively embedding clinical supervision as this is so important in supporting the clinical staff and ensuring the patients received gold standard care.

As a clinical lead I am now ensuring that my team are exposed to a wide range of education, opportunities and development as they are the future of Health in Justice.

Practice Plus Group work to develop their existing staff whether clinical or non-clinical. Making the move to a private healthcare company has been such a positive experience and the opportunities both educational from a career perspective continues to grow.

Current vacancies

Job title Location Contract type Schedule type Closing date
Matron – HMP Pentonville HMP Pentonville Prison Healthcare Permanent 26 Jan 2023
Early Days in Custody Practitioner – HMP Bullingdon Thames Valley HMP Bullingdon Prison Healthcare Permanent 27 Jan 2023
Early Days in Custody Clinical Lead – HMP Brixton HMP Brixton Prison Healthcare Permanent 27 Jan 2023
Early Days in Custody Clinical Coordinator – HMP Pentonville HMP Pentonville Prison Healthcare Permanent 27 Jan 2023
Primary Care Clinical Lead (ACP)- HMP Altcourse HMP Altcourse Prison Healthcare Permanent 27 Jan 2023
Substance Misuse Clinical Lead- HMP Altcourse HMP Altcourse Prison Healthcare Permanent 27 Jan 2023
IUC Medical Lead (Surrey) Dorking Out Of Hours Out of Hours (OOH) Fixed Term 31 Jan 2023
Mental Health Clinical Lead HMP Hollesley Bay Suffolk HMP Hollesley Bay Prison Healthcare Permanent 31 Jan 2023
Theatre Manager Practice Plus Group Hospital Barlborough Hospitals, Surgical Centres, MSK and Diagnostics Permanent 31 Jan 2023
Clinical Lead (Urgent Care) Practice Plus Group Urgent Treatment Centre St Marys Portsmouth Hospitals, Surgical Centres, MSK and Diagnostics Permanent 31 Jan 2023
Deputy Head of Healthcare- HMP YOI Swinfen Hall West Midlands HMP YOI Swinfen Hall Prison Healthcare Permanent 31 Jan 2023
Patient Engagement Lead – HMP Winchester HMP Winchester Prison Healthcare Permanent 31 Jan 2023
Early Days in Custody Clinical Lead- HMP Hewell West Midlands HMP Hewell Prison Healthcare Permanent 31 Jan 2023
Primary Care Clinical Lead- HMP Featherstone West Midlands HMP Featherstone Prison Healthcare Permanent 31 Jan 2023
Lead Pharmacist – HMP Lewes HMP Lewes Prison Healthcare Permanent 1 Feb 2023
Patient Engagement Lead – HMP Isle of Wight HMP IOW Prison Healthcare Permanent 3 Feb 2023
Mental Health Service Manager- HMP Lewes HMP Lewes Prison Healthcare Permanent 3 Feb 2023
Mental Health Clinical Lead – HMP Onley HMP Onley Prison Healthcare Permanent 3 Feb 2023
Clinical Psychologist – HMP Rye Hill and HMP Onley HMP Onley Prison Healthcare Permanent 3 Feb 2023
Primary Care Clinical Lead – Gatwick Immigration Removal Centre Gatwick IRC Prison Healthcare Permanent 3 Feb 2023