Quality is about providing the best care and experience for our patients. It’s paramount in nursing and I have recently welcomed a returning senior member of staff who will be supporting me greatly in this area of work.
Martina Morris is our new Deputy Director of Nursing working across both The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust (WHT), with responsibility for the quality and safety portfolios within nursing and midwifery.
No doubt many staff reading this will remember Martina from her previous spell at RWT as Deputy Chief Nurse, and I’m delighted to welcome her back.
She’s excited about her return – particularly working across both organisations – and told me: “I see my role as being very much the nursing voice for quality and safety; working collaboratively with colleagues across both organisations, driving continuous improvements, and enabling and empowering staff to deliver the best care and experience for the population we serve.
“It’s about having frameworks staff can follow so colleagues understand their roles and responsibilities and know where they can seek support.
“As leaders, our role is to ensure both organisations have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time, delivering the best care. An important part of this is learning from what has gone well and what has not, and focusing on making continuous improvements, however big or small.
“We must always keep at the forefront of our minds what we are here for – our patients – and what is equally as important is we look after each other and our staff.”
We have a nursing quality team across both Trusts headed by Katrina Creedon, who reports to Martina. They will work with other colleagues across both organisations to develop a joint quality and safety strategy and support quality improvements.
With that in mind, I want to tell you a bit about Martina. After beginning her nursing career at the tender age of 14 in her native Slovakia, qualifying as an adult nurse four years later, she’s been on quite a journey since emigrating in her early 20s.
She demonstrated her determination by graduating for her nursing degree and Master’s in a foreign language and underlined her commitment and ambition by broadening her experience by taking on more varied roles at provider and regional levels.
Following her promotion to the role of Sister on an Intensive Care Unit at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, she took on an interim Practice Development Nurse (PDN) role on the unit for a year before spending nearly five years as PDN at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
She says her time as a PDN was a defining moment because she discovered her passion, as well as learned so much about nursing standards, quality and safety. It cemented her desire to make a difference in those areas.
Martina then spent several years in senior positions in workforce, quality and governance in various NHS organisations before coming to RWT in early 2019, where she remained until June 2020, when she took a short career break.
She returned to the UK in November 2020 to join NHS England as Assistant Director of Nursing and Quality, and had worked there until she rejoined RWT and Walsall this month.
Martina added: “I think if you’re not stretched, you’re not growing, so we should make the most of opportunities in life if they feel right.
“I’m also passionate about us being civil, compassionate and kind to each other as it is well evidenced that this has a direct impact on people around us, patient care and outcomes.
“As leaders, I strongly believe we must make every effort to foster strong staff and patient engagement to create the right organisational culture. Working in healthcare is very challenging, but equally, rewarding, and working together as a team makes us much stronger.”
I think there’s something there for us all to think about and inspire us.
Good luck, Martina!