Matthew Diment

Matthew Diment

A Nurse Practitioner in the Dermatology team, Matthew Diment joined Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2013 as a Healthcare Support Worker. His healthcare career has progressed first through a Foundation degree in Health and Social Care at Teesside University and more recently a Nursing degree Apprenticeship offered by his employing NHS trust and Northumbria University.

‘As a nurse practitioner I work in the dermatology department at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle as well as at outreach settings like Alnwick Infirmary. My job involves surgery, diagnostic procedures, curative procedures for skin cancer and pre-cancerous lesions and medical dermatology cases. I enjoy the surgical aspect which is technically demanding and enjoy working alongside consultants and meeting patients every day. 

‘I try to put myself in the patient’s shoes and try to understand how they are feeling. The majority of patients attend for a skin cancer procedure and that word – cancer – can instil a lot of fear and anxiety in the patient. When you’re doing the procedure you focus on the surgical skills and on your communication with the patient to put them at their ease.  

‘It is a rewarding job as you feel you’re making a difference – particularly if you’ve removed a melanoma from a patient before it’s had the opportunity to metastasise [spread of cancerous cells to other parts of the body].  

‘The job comes with lots of pressures, not least because skin cancer referrals are going up year on year; however, by the end of the week you usually feel quite satisfied with the work you’ve done because it’s about giving patients a high degree of satisfaction.’ 

Looking back at his Nursing degree studies, Matthew explains that he was one of the first students to progress through this degree apprenticeship route.  

‘Joining the programme in the summer of 2018 meant I could remain part of the NHS workforce while doing further study to become a qualified nurse. I was part of a cohort of eight students. We had modules to complete and had placements within the Newcastle Hospitals Trust.  

‘The format was one of theory and practice in the same week, so we would be on placement three days a week within Newcastle Hospitals and at university one or two days per week.’ 

After qualification in March 2020, Matthew chose to return to the dermatology department where he started his career seven years earlier. However, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic meant he was soon redeployed to a Covid ward department at the trust, where he worked for several months.  

‘I gained a lot of experience and matured as a nurse pretty quickly because there was a loss of life quite extensively at times which tested me both personally and professionally.  

‘Then I moved back to the dermatology department, working in outpatients and photo-therapy in which we treat patients for chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis using different forms of UV light therapy.  

‘After 18 months an opportunity arose for secondment as a Nurse Practitioner within dermatology surgery and I was encouraged to apply by colleagues. This is the role I’m currently working in and which I’d like to make permanent.  

‘Looking back at my time as a healthcare support worker, I didn’t have the life experiences I have now but I looked towards the more experienced staff around me and tried to learn from their qualities and strengths. Over those two or three years as a healthcare support worker, that gave me a solid platform to progress my career further and I still reflect upon that now. 

‘I have been supported on that career pathway by Newcastle Hospitals Trust. My experience shows that for healthcare support workers and equivalent roles there is the opportunity to progress and undertake further study to become a nursing associate, followed by staff nurse and nurse practitioner.’