Karen Newberry has recently been appointed Acting Deputy Service Manager of Great Yarmouth and Waveney Acute Services
“For the past 21 years I’ve worked in mental health in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area where, after many hospital and community roles, I concluded that my real passion is for adult inpatient services.
“I spent the first 15 years of my career working in general adult services and it was only by chance that I went into mental health, after meeting some mental health nurses on a training course and being inspired by them. Today, I feel as passionate about nursing as the day I qualified 36 years ago.
“Until taking up my new post, I was ward manager for four years at the Great Yarmouth Acute Services Centre at Northgate Hospital. We now have 18 inpatient beds at Northgate Hospital and what I particularly enjoy about working there is that I’m able to contribute to improving patient care and make a difference.
“I’ve seen many changes for the better, such as involving service users in their care plans and them spending less time in hospital so they can go back into the community sooner and do not become too dependent on us.
“Our estates team have done huge amounts of work and the inpatient environment at Northgate Hospital is now much warmer and welcoming than it was in the past.
“I’ve recently introduced uniforms for staff working on the ward, which I did after consulting with colleagues, service users and carers. We all still wear lanyards, of course, but if you’re suffering from any illness, it is easy to overlook these.
“The staff report that they enjoy wearing the polo shirts and I personally think they all look very smart and professional. I am very proud of this team not just for agreeing to pilot a new project but also for the excellent care they provide and for supporting me through many changes over the past four years.
“The service users and visitors have given positive feedback and appreciate being able to identify staff much more easily than in the past.
“In my new role, I am determined to get out and about and see it as an excellent opportunity to gain a better understanding within other service lines and improve the pathways in providing seamless, patient-focused care.
“I will continue to support staff to develop their careers so that they are more fulfilled professionally, which can only be good for them and our service users.”