Rachel Addy, Associate Director of Nursing and Joint Clinical Lead - Building Your Future Hospitals | Humans of Healthcare

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Humans of Healthcare shines a light on the wealth of immense talent we have at the Trust, as well as the diverse and dedicated teams that work in all areas of the organisation.

Rachel Addy in a hard hat and high vis vest

Rachel Addy, Associate Director of Nursing and Joint Clinical Lead - Building Your Future Hospitals

“I’ve always been empathetic, caring and worried about other people, even as a child I remember being this way, so nursing always felt like a natural fit.  

“I remember when I was a student nurse, I was in awe of the nurses – they seemed to be able to do really complicated things, and make it look easy! With nursing, you need to be able to build relationships with people quickly – you need to ask quite personal questions which put you in a position of power, so it’s important you can put the patient at ease.  

“I’ve been very lucky to work in a variety of roles in my 20 year nursing career – all at Epsom and St Helier. I did my penultimate placement as a student nurse in Renal and as it was coming to an end, I thought to myself ‘I have so much more to learn here and I want to learn it’ so I pursued a career in Renal, moving my way up to Renal Matron. Since then, I’ve had a variety of senior roles in the Trust including working in our Medicine division, leading on recruitment and retention of our nursing workforce, and even working in the Finance Division.  

“Every role has been different and a learning curve, and my current role – leading on the clinical design on behalf of nurses and allied health professionals for the Specialist Emergency Care Hospital and transformation of Epsom and St Helier hospitals – is no different. 

“I’m learning a lot about the mechanics of building a building and project management – and let’s not forget all the building project lingo! It’s very apparent how important the voice of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professions is, not just in ensuring we can provide the care we need to but in functional ways too. For example, I was in a meeting about the design of security recently, looking at what doors needs locks, key card entry, where we need CCTV. Usually that would be the Security Team and some contractors but by being there, I can make sure it works for us, as clinicians – and for patients too – whether that’s making sure there is enough room to get patients around the bed and give them a bed bath, or making sure it’s safe, comfortable and provides privacy and dignity for our patients.   

“I work closely with Dr Rebecca Suckling, who is the clinical lead for the Building Your Future Hospitals programme – and like me, is leading on the clinical design on behalf of our doctors.  

“It’s our job to support our divisional teams to work through what their services will look like and how they will work functionally, so that on day one we can hit the ground running. We’re also looking at new ways of working, including what this will look like digitally (that is the systems and processes we need to support us to work smarter), and how we can improve the patient experience – and the experience of staff too. But it’s not just how we will work differently when the new hospital opens, we’re looking at what we can do in the next year to start working in new ways.   

“I am so excited and proud to be part of the development – both as a nurse working in the Trust and as a local resident. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and will benefit the local community for many years to come.”

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