HOHC: Diane Weir, Lead Midwife for Safety and Transformation
Diane Weir, Lead Midwife for Safety and Transformation
“I can clearly remember the first time I tried my student nurse uniform on in 1985, aged just 18. I was so proud and excited about this new adventure I was undertaking. After qualifying as a staff nurse I worked on a medical ward for three years. Each winter I was reunited with a patient I’d met as a student nurse who, indirectly, helped me decide my career path. This patient suffered from a chest condition that meant each winter she would be admitted to hospital for a number of weeks, before being discharged back home to her family. She was always admitted to my ward, so I got to know her and her family very well. She was a delight to look after and she helped to make my job even more enjoyable, as she always had a smile on her face!
“I remember leaving work on a Friday, giving her a kiss on the cheek and getting a hug in return. I told her I’d be back to work on Monday, and she told me to make sure to enjoy my weekend off. Sadly, I didn’t see her again, as an hour before my next shift began she passed away. Losing a patient is always hard, but this loss deeply affected me and I began to wonder if I was in the right career. You have to come into the NHS being kind, compassionate and caring, and as you progress you need to become tough, have resilience, and maintain your passion.
“Leaving the hospital that evening I passed the maternity unit and the idea that I might retrain as a midwife began to take form. As a midwife I’m still able to form amazing relationships with the women I’ve cared for, and I’m bringing new life into the world.
“I’ve worked 35 years without a career break, and I’m still only 53 years old - I’m proud of myself for that. I’ve worked at Epsom and St Helier for 5 years now, and I’ve had an enjoyable career working here so far. I’m surrounded and supported by wonderful, diverse colleagues with a great work ethic. Working at ESTH has challenged me professionally beyond what I could ever have expected, and if I were to sum it up simply all I could say was that I have had an absolutely amazing career.”