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Nurses' joy at returning to work

PUBLISHED: 03:10 31 May 2002 | UPDATED: 12:01 03 March 2010

DELIGHTED nurses today spoke of changes to the profession since returning to practice after years out of the NHS.

Five more mental health nurses from St Clements Hospital in Ipswich have completed a Return to Practice course.

DELIGHTED nurses today spoke of changes to the profession, since returning to practice after years out of the NHS.

Five more mental health nurses from St Clements Hospital in Ipswich have completed a Return to Practice course.  

The courses provide retraining, support and the flexible hours necessary to enable people to return to nursing.

Since the Local Health Partnerships NHS Trust (LHPT) began running the courses in September 2000, about a dozen people have re-qualified as a mental health nurse.  

Sarah Ray, clinical practice development nurse said: "The benefit for the trust from running a Return to Practice course is that these nurses bring with them a high level of motivation, life experience and maturity, as well as a good understanding of how to improve patient care.

"They are valuable assets to the trust, and their previous experience of nursing means they are able to compare and contrast good practices."

Ian Harley, 44, has been working outside of nursing for the past 21 years, after initially qualifying as a mental health nurse in 1980.  

He said: "After I graduated, I decided I wanted to try something different first, so I went to work for the county court service.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the work, was promoted to executive officer and ended up staying for two decades!  But recently I felt that I wanted to work in more close contact with people, and made the decision to return to mental health nursing. It is great to be back on the wards again, and I am very much enjoying working with patients again.

"I feel that the NHS has changed for the better in the intervening 20 years that I have been out of the profession.  Nursing practice these days is much more based on actual evidence that a procedure is beneficial than used to be the case.  

"The different professions liaise with each other a lot more effectively now. "Also, the National Service Frameworks have given more structure and direction to healthcare.  It is easier to measure the quality of the care that we provide to patients, and adjust our services accordingly."

Sandra Hart, Kate Beckwith, Jane Robinson and Karen Fenton also received awards.  

LHPT chairwoman Sandra Walmsley welcomed the enthusiasm shown by the new recruits and said she hoped they would enjoy their new careers.

She said: "The best care for patients is provided by a happy and fulfilled workforce.  

"To achieve this we are doing all we can to create an environment in which every member of our staff feels that their voice is listened to and their contribution appreciated."

For more information about mental health nursing careers with LHPT, telephone 01473 276506.


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