@NHS from 11/01/19 to 15/02/19
Twitter handle: @VickyChas3
Patient/Carer or NHS Staff: NHS staff
Condition or job title: Lead Nurse/Manager @PolyposisRegUK
Place of treatment/care or workplace:St Mark’s Hospital, London Northwest Healthcare NHS Trust
I have been qualified as a nurse for almost 20 years, completing my undergraduate degree in Nursing Studies at King’s College, London and initially training as an intensive care nurse at St George’s Hospital. Deciding to specialise in gastrointestinal(GI) conditions, I worked initially at The Royal London Hospital as a bowel trainee nurse looking after patients with evacuatory disorders and performing ano-rectal physiology and biofeedback. I then moved to The Homerton Hospital taking up a post as a nurse practitioner in coloproctology and caring primarily for patients with bowel cancer.
I decided to take a 3 year career break following the birth of my twins, Holly and Charlie who were born at 30 weeks (shout out to the Neonatal Unit at The Royal Free!) and are now fit and healthy almost 11 year olds. William came along only 17 months after the twins and so life was pretty hectic at home for a short while!
Returning to work for a break, I was lucky enough to gain a position as a nurse practitioner in The Polyposis Registry at St Mark’s Hospital (somewhere I had always wanted to work) and after 4 years became the lead nurse. The Polyposis Registry is the oldest such Registry in the world (started in 1924), the largest in Europe and the only one of its kind in the UK. It cares exclusively for families with an inherited predisposition to bowel and other cancers due to the development of polyps in the GI tract. The main aim of the Registry is cancer prevention but we actively carry out research and education (both to patients, their families and other health care professionals) in order to improve the care and treatment of this fascinating but rare group of patients.
My role in the Registry encompasses unit and staff management and a nurse practitioner role. I am excited to be raising awareness of polyposis conditions, inherited bowel cancer and all things genomics related. I hope to highlight the varied role that nurses can occupy in the NHS and the additional value that specialist nursing can add to patient care. When I’m not talking about polyps and inheritance patterns, I love spending time with my 3 children, wandering around Hampton Court Palace (one of my favourite places) and playing the violin (badly!).