Six nurses from across a range of services have been recruited to a new Director of Nursing fellowship programme and are being supported to develop leadership, quality improvement and clinical academic awareness and skills at an early stage of their careers.

The Director of Nursing (DoN) fellowship programme, launched by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) in September 2021, offers competitive scholarships which give nurses one day out of direct patient contact to focus on personal development and leading an improvement project in their area of clinical practice. The fellowship comprises 3 elements, including a taught element, shadow ‘insight’ opportunities and an evidence-based Quality Improvement project linked to their area of clinical practice.

The fellows include:

Eva Kwarteng, community learning disability nurse

Originally from Ghana, Eva has extensive training and teaching experience in science education and the Lifelong Learning sector (DTLLS) prior to undertaking her nursing degree course.  She graduated from De Montfort University in March 2020 with BSc Nursing honour.

Eva’s desire to become a nurse was driven by her caring and compassionate nature to care for people with learning disability and to be their advocate. As a DoN Fellow, Eva will be talking to service users, families, and carers about their perceptions of community nurses’ discharge processes and how this can be made safer and more effective to meet their needs.

Danielle Mantle, staff nurse, eating disorders

Trained as a physical health nurse, Danielle previously worked on the short stay unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, prior to joining Langley Ward eight months ago. To improve the quality of care delivered to patients with eating disorders, the focus of Danielle’s quality improvement project will be to develop an induction package for new staff, inclusive of students and bank staff, to improve knowledge on eating disorders, how the ward works and what to expect while working on Langley Ward.

Faith Tipper, staff nurse, community rehabilitation

As an experienced registered nurse working in a community hospital rehabilitation inpatient setting, Faith is passionate about all aspects of nursing and always strive to provide the best evidence-based care to her patients. Faith has over 10 years post registration experience including care of the elderly, palliative care, and patients with multiple sclerosis.

Faith’s experience of caring for patients with Covid-19 during the pandemic has not only led to a keen interest in the management of this patient group, but also the impact on staff in relation to resources, protocols and their health and wellbeing. Faith’s quality improvement project will focus on how IT systems can be utilised and improved to benefit nurse experience and efficiency on inpatient wards in LPT.

Claire Clarke-Green, community nurse

Claire graduated from De Montfort University in 2017 with a BSc Honours in adult nursing and started her career in an acute NHS trust working on a busy gastrointestinal ward with hepatology. Not only did this role support the development of her knowledge, but also the development of great skills and resilience.

Claire is passionate about community nursing and therefore her quality improvement project will focus on the pressure ulcer escalation process to ensure correct dressing choice and patient education to prevent pressure ulcer deterioration whilst awaiting tissue viability verification.

Kelly Barber, mental health practitioner

Kelly started working with the crisis resolution and home treatment team (CRHT) based at the Bradgate Mental Health Unit in 2017 as a healthcare support worker. Following completion of her nurse training earlier this year, she returned to the team as a mental health practitioner.

Throughout her career, Kelly has always remained focussed on providing the highest possible standards of care to service users and their families and carers. She has a passion for continued service development through research and innovation. Through the DoN fellowship, Kelly hopes to support the development of the crisis care pathway and is currently working on a quality improvement project to enhance continuity of care and develop the keyworker role. 

Daniel Gaughan, staff nurse, mental health

Following his graduation from De Montfort University in April 2021, Daniel has worked on an acute male mental health ward (Thornton ward) for the past 5 months.

Daniel looks forward to further develop his leadership and quality improvement skills during the DoN Fellowship. His quality improvement project will focus on ways to improve the quality of record keeping and communication to service users’ families and carers.

Personal development will be tailored to the individual needs and interests of each participant, and will include support around leadership, research and quality improvement. Fellows will be provided with mentorship by nurses in senior leadership and academic positions.

Dr Anne Scott, Executive Director of Nursing, AHP’s and Quality, said:

“This fellowship programme is a great opportunity to support the development of our nursing workforce, providing them with the skills to find new and innovative ways to improve patient care.

As an organisation, we are committed to improving quality of care through research and quality improvement and we are looking for nurses who would like to develop these skills at an early stage of their career.”