Donna grew up with her cousin who had severe physical and learning disabilities and this experience inspired her to become a nurse when she was old enough. It’s 35 years since Donna qualified as a nurse and she has spent the last 25 years working in an Acute Assessment Unit for people with learning disabilities. Her current role is Acting Unit Manager.
“I’m responsible for the day to day running of the assessment unit,” explains Donna “which provides short to medium term care for people with mental health problems, challenging behaviour and epilepsy.
“I love helping others and advocating for them, being their voice when they can’t do it for themselves, helping to improve their lives. You see people come into the unit who are not well at all and in quite a lot of distress, so to see them improve whilst they are with us is wonderful.”
Donna was nominated for a Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for her patients’ families as Service Manager and colleague Denise Bromfield explains,
“When patients are admitted it is often a daunting experience for them and their families. Donna will go over and above to ensure they are put at ease and any concerns are addressed. She has a kind and caring attitude, thus ensuring a therapeutic relationship between families and staff.
“Families will always ring and ask for Donna when they want reassurance or advice. A family member recently said "I ask for Donna because she’s someone I can relate to and she makes me feel my child is safe and cared for." What a wonderful tribute!”
Winning a Cavell Star Award came as a surprise to Donna.
“I struggle with being recognised for anything, so it was difficult at first! But for the award to be for the help and support I’ve given to patients and their families, that really does means a lot to me. Ultimately that is always my aim, making anybody’s time at the unit the best that it can be and supporting the families through that too.
“My nursing team are amazing, I couldn’t do my job without them! We do really good work and I feel proud of what we all achieve. I’ve been at the unit for a 25 years so some of us go back a long way, they are big part of my life.”