Hi, my name is Jane Thomson and I am a Nurse Team Leader. I work in Springpark Community Mental Health Team based in the Possilpark area of Glasgow. I am part of a large multi disciplinary team of nurses (CPNs), occupational therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists who provide care for people who have complex mental health problems.
I have been in this role for the past 9 years, having previously been a charge nurse within the team. My role encompasses leadership, management and clinical expertise and although very challenging is made easier with the support of a great team of skilled staff.
Providing assessment and interventions for people who are mentally unwell can often be difficult for staff and I view my role to be fundamentally about supporting staff to help get the best outcomes for the people we see.
My working week is never the same, although I have several planned meetings each week my other work is a combination of dealing with any issues that arise with case work, our duty system, staff management issues and progressing service improvements. I also have a small clinical caseload and really enjoy the opportunity to use my clinical skills.
Welcome to my day…..
In before 9am –check e mails and messages 9am – Chair our screening and allocations meeting. This meeting considers each referral sent into the team and we decide, with the information we have from the referral and case notes if the referral is appropriate for our service or if not where in the mental health system it would best fit. This can be a complicated process and often we don’t have enough information to make a decision, I often take these referrals and then liase with GPs and other services to get the case to the right place. I make sure that actions are clear as communication is key. I then allocate work directly to the nursing and OT team.
12.30 - Discuss a case that has presented through our duty system. There is a patient who requires to be admitted, there is concern about child protection and the duty nurse and duty doctor are keen to talk through the issues prior to contacting the social work team.
1pm –Meet with our health and safety sub group to look at planning for our forthcoming audit. Due to a recent reorganisation of service we have 3 new consulting rooms but we have to risk assess these rooms for use. Delegate work for action.
2.30pm - Meet with a charge nurse for caseload management, we talk about her present workload and look at her direct clinical work. We focus on some of her complex patients and consider risk issues. We balance her clinical commitments with her recent commitment to develop our physical health screening in line with the physical health policy.
3.30pm - Attend an awareness session with the team about triangle of care which is about partnership working with carers. We discuss how we can make service improvements using this approach. I speak with the crisis team leader to look at work our teams working together on this.
4.30pm – Check that there are no ongoing issues with our duty system, check on e mails and messages.
5pm – Home time!
I trained as an RMN in 1987 and my first post was as an in-patient nurse in the newly opened Parkhead Hospital. I was one of the first nurses to move out into a community post during this period of change, when there was emphasis on community care. I loved my first community CPN post in Glasgow’s East end, gained some invaluable experience then moved to a new drug harm reduction service that was being developed in primary care. This gave me the opportunity to work across all sectors of Glasgow. Each area had its own challenges. I moved back to mental health in 2002. I joined the Springpark team in North Glasgow and have never looked back. I completed my BSc - Specialist Practitioner in Community Mental Health in 2005. Although my direct clinical input is limited in this post I feel that I am able to support and influence care. I strive to keep my role about the patient, they are central to everything that I do. I think I am privileged to be in a job where people share their lives, often traumatic, and constantly surprise with their resilience.