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I qualified as mental health nurse in 1994 and have worked in a range of clinical and leadership roles throughout my career. In 2013, I was awarded my PhD from the University of Manchester. This was a huge personal achievement and something I remain incredibly proud of achieving with a young family and demanding full-time post. My determination to succeed, is grounded in a drive to improve services and make a difference. I have led a number of projects that have made a difference to the quality, safety and effectiveness of services and improved the overall experience of patients, carers and staff.

I led a bed transformation project to reduce the number of admissions and length of stay across the mental health beds in Lancashire. This involved whole system changes to ensure the admission was avoided and discharge was timely. I learnt a great deal during this project, particularly about how to engage staff in change and this has shaped my approach to quality improvement over the years.

A particularly inspiring training programme I attended was Appreciative Leadership programme. Through this programme I learned about appreciative inquiry, which  completely transformed me as a leader. I have used appreciative inquiry with some of the most disengaged teams and I have found that by helping them to shift their thinking to what works well, has enabled me to reconnect them with who they are as practitioners and begin to find solutions to the issues they face. This has provided a platform for change and the development of PDSA cycles owned by the team.

LEAN methodology has enabled me to develop systems and processes that are robust and fully understood by those who are using them. Recently, I led the successful quality improvement of the serious incident process. The changes we implemented have received positive recognition from local commissioners.

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