Grantham Journal Big Interview: 'I want the very best for my patients'
This year’s Judges’ Prestige Award was awarded to Elizabeth Reader, a practice care co-ordinator at St Peter’s Hill Surgery, who stood out as being extra special at the Grantham Journal Business Awards last month.
We caught up with Elizabeth, who was also awarded the Queen’s Nurse Award this year, at St Peters Hill Surgery this week.
It sounds like you’ve had a varied career as a nurse. Are you able to tell us a bit about your background?
I always wanted to be a nurse from the age of five. I joined the British Red Cross for nine years before attending Grantham College to do a pre-nursing course.
I started my nurse training on my 18th birthday at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge.
After I qualified I worked on the general medical ward to consolidate my training, before moving to Grantham to be with family and commuted to Nottingham City Hospital renal unit, where I worked for 18 months before deciding to try community.
I got my first staff nurse job in Grantham community in 1996. Three years later I attended Sheffield Hallam University on a secondment and achieved a BA Hons District Nursing.
I spent the new few years working across Lincolnshire in Boston, Old Leake, Ancaster and Grantham as a district nurse.
In 2012, I became a complex case manager within the Grantham community before joining the team at St Peter’s Hill Surgery as practice care co-ordinator in 2015, where I have remained ever since.
How do you feel about receiving the award?
It gives me great pride in all the hard work and dedication that we as nurses do day after day, often in areas that I’m sure others do not realise.
What are your main responsibilities?
My role is to support the housebound patients at St Peter’s Hill Surgery. I have a caseload of over 400 patients and I aim to keep them as well as able to keep them out of hospital. Early intervention and working within the wider ‘neighbourhood team’ is key. I have a good network of colleagues from various agencies, including district nurses, social workers, carers, respiratory specialists, diabetic specialist, ambulance crew, hospice, care home and care agencies.
I also support end of life care and support families and patients when the decision to be at home is the preferred choice. I feel quite passionate and work hard to ensure the patients’ wishes are upheld.
I also support the 11 care homes locally, building up a good rapport with the staff so we can jointly manage the patients in our care together. I also work closely with local pharmacies to support patients with medication issues that arise.
As nurses we can never achieve what we want to do in the hours we get so I have always worked when I have needed to achieve the best for my patients. It is part of being a nurse.
What are your next steps for the future?
I aim to continue to serve those locally in the community and continue to give high quality care and inspire others to do the same.