Rachel's story

Rachel qualified as a nurse in 1997 and worked on a ward looking after diabetic patients.

“I’ve always enjoyed caring for and looking after people so nursing just seemed a natural career progression” says Rachel “I still love it now and don’t regret the decision at all. I think you’re either a natural nurse or not and I feel nursing comes naturally to me.”

Rachel continued nursing people with diabetes, a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high, leading to many health problems over time. In 2002 she became a diabetes specialist nurse and since then has worked in lots of different aspects of diabetes.  She has specialised in diabetic foot care, specifically treating health problems relating to people with diabetes feet and is the lead nurse for this service at her NHS Trust.

“I love making a difference to the patients I look after, supporting them through what can be a traumatic experience” explains Rachel “Some patients we’re able to treat and they go and get on with their lives, but for others it can mean an amputation as the only cause of treatment. So it’s supporting them as much as possible and preparing them for this life changing surgery.

“It’s hugely rewarding when we’re able to treat people and see their condition improve so they are back on their feet again and able to have a better quality of life.”

Rachel was nominated for a Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for her colleagues. Colleague Suzanne Hilliard explains,

“Rachel is in a league of her own when it involves going above and beyond. On top of the tremendous amount of care she gives to her patients, she also manages to extend this to her colleagues.

“Despite her crazy, busy workload, family life and studying for a masters, she makes every single of one of us feel important and the care and support she gives is second to none. What stands out is her complete selflessness and humility. She never expects anything in return, except the knowledge that you are ok and good. There are no limits to her kindness. She deserves to know just how brilliant and appreciated she is by all of the diabetes team.”

Rachel reacted to winning her Cavell Star Award,

“I was completely surprised and delighted!” says Rachel “Certainly with the last 18 months we’ve had with the Covid pandemic, being recognised for going above and beyond probably means more than it did before. And the whole team has gone above and beyond to keep the clinic running and to be there for the patients.

“My nursing team are like my family, they mean everything to me. Keeping morale up and everyone boosted has been a team effort recently. I feel very honoured to work alongside such a dedicated bunch of people. Having such a close team around has been vital during the pandemic. There’s been such highs and lows, we’ve all had to support each other on bad days. I would say we’ve pulled closer as a team than we ever have before.”

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