Hear from our staff

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Hear from our staff

Explore what a career in healthcare is really like here from our colleagues in the blogs below. If you're interested in applying, you can also view all our vacancies on NHS jobs.

Experienced nurse supports staff to Speak Up

Natasha Morris-Day, the Trust's Freedom to Speak Up Guardian

My name is Natasha Morris-Day and I have been our Trust Freedom To Speak Up Guardian since June 2023. The role of the Freedom To Speak Up Guardian is to ensure that staff feel their voices have been heard. This can be through supporting staff on a one-to-one basis, with escalating concerns when they haven’t felt able to through their usual structures, but also through supporting the Trust with wider organisational change to improve our Speak Up culture.

I qualified as an adult nurse in 2008 and initially worked as a Community Staff Nurse in District Nursing in Birmingham. After a few years, I decided to train as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse in Health Visiting and in 2013, joined our Trust as a Health Visitor. For many years, I continued working in that role, before accepting a post as a Team Leader, managing one of our Health Visiting/School Health Nursing teams. I began working as a Team Leader just as we entered the Covid-19 pandemic and did so until I took on the Guardian role, earlier this year.

I had wanted to complete my nursing qualification when I was a teenager but decided to gain some work experience before making that final decision. I completed an apprenticeship in business administration after leaving school and really enjoyed my work, but the call to be a nurse never went away, so at the end of my apprenticeship, I applied for a place on the Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing course at Birmingham University – I was very lucky to gain a place and have worked for the NHS ever since. Before I started my nurse training, I worked for a short time in a senior administration role to gain understanding of how the NHS worked, as my apprenticeship had been completed in private industry, which was very different in terms of day to day operation and workplace culture. I also worked as a Healthcare Assistant throughout my three years at university – this was one of my favourite times of my career as I loved being able to work in different types of care and to spend so much time with my patients.

Having worked in private industry before becoming a nurse, I was able to experience a different working environment to the NHS – and it is incredibly different. I think some of the challenges we experience in the NHS are due to its size and also the fact that it is unique in it’s aim and purpose. That said, I have always felt a deep sense of pride in being part of something bigger, that is driven by the need to provide high quality care to those who need it.

I have worked with many supportive and caring colleagues over my last ten years in this Trust. My role now is much more stand-alone, to maintain my impartiality in the organisation, but I continue to experience the warmth and kindness of colleagues as our Freedom To Speak Up Guardian on a daily basis. We know that the NHS is not always perfect, but I am so passionate about the care we deliver, and I feel fortunate that I can now use my experience, to support other staff members who need my help and the wider organisation to be a great place to work for everyone.

I feel incredibly fortunate, in that I have been supported by the Trust with my development and career progression. That said, I am not someone who has had a clear vision of what that progression would look like – I have more often taken opportunities that I have come across over time, rather than having a set career trajectory in mind. I would always offer reassurance to anyone who doesn’t quite know what they want to do or where they might end up – I haven’t regretted any of my decisions in terms of roles I’ve worked in, as all of them have equipped me with the knowledge and experience to get to where I am today.

For more information on the role of a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, please visit the National Guardian website - you can also view our live vacancies on the NHS Jobs website.

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