Jessica wins NHS Person of the Year
Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards
Jessica has scooped NHS Person of the Year Award after being nominated by one of the families that she works with. She leads the ADHD nursing team at Norwich Community Hospital and works with children and young people with neurodevelopmental differences. She is also a children’s mental health nurse and during the pandemic has checked in with families every week – something the judges of the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards highly praised.
She told the EDP: “It feels overwhelming, and I’m honoured to have won. It’s not quite sunk in. I’m very grateful to the family that nominated me and so pleased that we were able to offer support over this difficult year.
“This feels huge, it’s not something I can put into words, it’s a real high point of my career and I’m very proud of my team.
“Throughout COVID-19 we have done a lot to adapt ADHD assessment and treatment pathways. A lot of young people have struggled with anxiety and mental health, and we have been on phone listening, supporting, and helping families to manage mental wellbeing.
“We are a paediatric service but have been able to support the whole needs of the families. This truly means so much.”
The judges said: “Working to help families with additional needs to make their way through what has been an incredibly different year, offering support and ways to adapt to ensure a support structure was in place.
“It is clear that Jess puts in a lot of time to listen to families difficulties in the hope to work out how to support them best as possible.”
The full article about all the award winners is available on the EDP website.
We had a chat to Jessica about her role and how she came to be working at our community NHS trust:
“I qualified as a mental health nurse (RMN) in March 2012. A number of people in my family are nurses (including my Mum!) and after completing my BSc in Neuropsychology I fell into mental health nursing.
“During my nurse training I worked on a ward for young people with mental health needs in forensic services and found that I really enjoyed working with younger people, understanding their lives and circumstances and trying to support therapeutic change.
“I started my career as a staff nurse on an adolescent inpatient CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) unit at the Bethlem Hospital in South London. I progressed from there to working in a CAMHS Community Team in Lewisham, South London, providing therapeutic work for young people with a range of mental health needs and completing crisis assessments in A+E. I fell into ADHD nursing by accident, supporting the lead nurse in the service at the time. I completed my nurse prescribing in 2016 at King’s College London and continued to specialise in neurodevelopmental conditions, ending up in East London in Hackney CAMHS as a Highly Specialist CAMHS nurse.
“I decided to move to Norfolk in July 2018 and took on a dual role in the ADHD nursing service in Paediatrics and working with the Neurodevelopmental service supporting and developing the ADHD assessment pathway.
“I have recently completed my MSc in Neuroscience at King’s College London with my thesis focussing on ADHD and have co-authored a book chapter on ADHD in girls and women due to be published in 2021.
“In my current role at NCH&C I work as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and I lead the wonderful ADHD nursing team Monday to Wednesday. Our days are busy, but we’re a close team. Whilst on the surface we are completing medication reviews, our day to day role in clinic involves supporting people with the neurodevelopmental, learning and mental health needs. We see a lot of young people with a history of trauma and a number of young people exposed to criminal exploitation, so we do a lot of liaison with other services.
“I also work for the NDS (neurodevelopmental service) on a Thursday where I complete ADHD assessments and continue to work on how to adapt and develop the assessment pathway.
Our days are always unpredictable and no two days are the same!”
If you’re interested in joining our community nursing teams, click here to see some of our current vacancies.