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Danielle Harding

Our General Practice Nurse Consultant Danielle Harding tells us about her role working closely with our colleagues in General Practice.

Name and role

My name is Danielle Harding and I am a General Practice Nurse Consultant at the CCG.

On a typical day…

In my role I spend time with a lot of nurses who work in General Practice, to make sure that we offer them the right support to deliver the care to their patients. I’ll generally spend time visiting a practice and joining Nurse/Clinical meetings. I feel it is a really important part of my role to understand challenges “on the ground”, which is crucial if we want to make decisions that are beneficial for patients as well as NHS staff. I am also involved in a lot of system partner meetings regarding nurse education, training, recruitment and development. This year the CCG have released the General Practice Nurse Strategy and my aim is to support the delivery of this.

Tell us how you have made a difference as a nurse?

Last year I developed a new workforce model called ‘Work Ready’. We recruited 9 student nurses into the project and gave them a bespoke package of education and training alongside their final placement. This has enabled six nurses (so far) to be recruited into a General Practice Nurse post as a Newly qualified Nurse, with more skills and training than would have previously been possible. This is a new model that we hope to become a new sustainable pipeline of new nurses with the support of the Training Hub, with the right skills, in the right place to undertake the many jobs available.

What inspired you to go into nursing? What would you say to a young person interested in a career in nursing & midwifery?

I actually didn’t get inspired to go into nursing until I was 27. I spent my early twenties as a hairdresser and nannying abroad, and when I came back home I needed a job. I ended up working as an Accident and Emergency department night receptionist. The nursing bug caught me there…and the rest, as they say, is history!

I would tell any young people who are interested in a career in this field that it’s such a challenging job, but it’s so worth it. The long hours and stressful environments aren’t cut out for everyone, but if you do feel this career is right for you you’ll have a chance to make such a huge difference to people’s lives. Whether you’re an A&E nurse or a General Practice nurse, you’re helping people every day – a pretty incredible thing to be allowed to do in my eyes. It is a privilege to be invited into people’s lives at what is often a very delicate and vulnerable time.

Are there any good nursing projects/ innovations happening  that you’d like to share?

We are just coming to the end of our Tissue Viability Nurse Educator programme, that has been an excellent opportunity for engagement with the General Practice Nurses in their places of work, we listened to the nurses from over 30 practices, work with the tissue viability nurse specialists in the community and other CCGs to develop a new template for holistic patient care assessment that will improve healing rates, recurrence rates and see a decline in TV referrals. We aim to standardise and improve the care of all of our complex wound care in the CCG by using this template as a tool for improved care.

Do you have any speaking engagements lined-up?

We have our annual GPN conference in June, which is facilitated by the Training Hub. I hope to be in attendance this year to meet more of our fantastic nurses and share all the great work that they are doing to support their communities.

Have you won any awards or recognitions for your nursing role?

I won the Practice Nurse Award 2019 at the annual East Anglia Faculty Royal College of General Practitioners (RCCG) awards last year for my contributions to General Practice, which was a total shock and I was extremely grateful for the recognition!

Tell us your funniest or amusing work-related story...

As a student nurse I tried to wash the marker pen off a male patient’s chest thinking it was markings from theatre… it was a tattoo, and the patient found it really funny to let me continue for a little longer, wondering why it wasn’t coming off!