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We interviewed Debbie, our Ward Manager in Haywards Heath Hospital, who gives us a great insight into the team she works with and why she chooses her nursing career at Nuffield Health.


‘I am the Ward Manager at Haywards Heath and have been in post for the last 8 years. I started on the bank here in 1996 as a staff nurse and as my family have grown up and left home have been able to devote more of my time to progressing in my nursing career and I am very happy in my current role. I trained in the NHS under the old style apprenticeship scheme and it was a fantastic way to learn.
The reason that I like working for Nuffield is that it gives me the time that we used to have in the NHS to give to direct patient care with the dignity that everyone is entitled to expect. We have the support network of housekeeping and pantry staff that enable us to nurse and not have to do subsidiary, albeit important work. I have a wonderful team of nurses with a great skill mix and have good relationship with the other clinical HOD’s based on an attitude of respect. The SMT is very visible and always available for help and advice, we work on an open door policy here for all departments.

Haywards Heath is not the prettiest hospital in our group (we are on an industrial estate) but I would challenge anyone to find one that has a friendlier atmosphere, something that is frequently mentioned in our Patient Satisfaction Surveys. We also are all committed to providing high clinical standards of care for our patients at every stage of their treatment with us. We have been slowly undertaking a refurbishment of the patient facing areas and last autumn it was the turn of the ward with 6 bedrooms, the ward reception and a new nurses’ office. It was hugely disruptive as these things always are but the benefits are great as well. To have a more professional look to our rooms and public areas gives patients the confidence that their treatment and care will be equally professional.

I recently completed the One Nuffield Future Leaders Programme which has given me much more of an overall view of the Nuffield, how it is moving forward and supporting their leaders and how to put theory into practice in daily terms. With the introduction of Workday, managers now have much more day to day management of their staff and requisitioning new staff, and so I am more desk- bound than I used to be but have been given the skills to enable me to do this in the most efficient way possible.

I start my mornings with the overnight report and then the day’s work needs allocating. I try to visit the in-patients or any patient that we have identified as needing any extra input. The most efficient meeting that we hold is the multi-disciplinary meeting held at 08:45 with reception, housekeeping, RMO, physio and pharmacy plus Matron when able and other members of SMT. This meeting gives an excellent overview of the ward and the needs of the patients and the work to be done by all departments and only takes about 5 minutes.

The ‘thank you’ cards, from our patients, in the office remind us all of why we are here, doing the job that we love and being recognised for it. I am working towards my next long service award of 25 years!’


If you’re interested in joining the team at Haywards Heath, please click here to see our current vacancies.

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