I started nursing at the age of 18 in the Royal Navy and qualified in 1972. During the early days I worked in general hospital settings, becoming a Ward Sister in 1974. In 1977 I qualified as a midwife in Oxford and worked in a Neo-Natal intensive care unit prior to training as a Health Visitor and later a Family Planning Nurse.
I have continued working with children and families in front line operational and senior management roles. These include being a Health Visitor for homeless families and Women’s Refuges, a paediatric liaison health visitor in a busy London Hospital, a Designated Nurse for Child Protection and a manager of an integrated Child Protection Health Team for Croydon PCT – identified as an exemplar for the Children’s NSF. More recently I have worked as the Senior Strategic Safeguarding Children Advisor for NHS London Strategic Health Authority (NHS London).
My continuing professional education has taken me into senior posts which straddle strategy and practice in acute and community health settings. I have undertaken a first degree (BA hons) in inter-professional child protection studies and an inter-professional Master’s degree in Society Violence and Practice. I also studied for an advanced nursing practitioner award in child protection studies in 1999.
Since retiring in December 2010 I have continued working pasrt time as the Senior Strategic Safeguarding Children Advisor for NHS London, and have also undertaken work on an independent consultancy basis.
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