Publish date: 20 September 2022

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This week, we’re going to Leicestershire for our What Do You Do series where we’ve been catching up with Sarah Cherry.

Sarah has recently branched out into a new role as a Clinical Service Lead, that she will be taking on alongside her duties as an Advanced Practitioner and is already part of the annual seasonal flu vaccination programme for staff. She’s been a part of DHU since 2019 and has a long history of working within the Leicestershire system.

Speaking about her role, Sarah said: “I had worked in our East Leicestershire & Rutland (ELR) hubs for a different organisation before DHU was awarded the regional contracts. To begin with I carried on working in the hubs before branching out and adding in some home visiting shifts which helped me to gain a different type of experience and brought even more variety to my role.

“Within a year, the Deputy Clinical Service Lead role came up which was something that appealed to me, so I decided to apply and was successful! It was around this time that I also progressed from being a clinical practitioner to an advanced practitioner role under my clinical contract. It’s important for me to be able to develop, gain new skills and progress which is something that DHU have enabled me to do. If I can identify a way to add more strings to my bow and there’s a clear path for me that will benefit me and DHU then, from my point of view, it’s important to be able to discuss that and see it come to fruition.

“In terms of a typical day; it can vary quite a lot but if I’m in the main office it’s usually an early start of around 7am. I might spend the day in the main office or across different sites depending on what is happening in services. My day consists of clinical work, staff appraisals, reviewing and auditing services, meetings with other DHU colleagues or wider system partners in relation to the services I am responsible for.

“From my point of view, working for DHU means being part of a supportive team, both in terms of what I can offer and how DHU and my managers see my role. I’m a line manager for 27 clinical staff in LLR whilst also being responsible for some LLR services.

“These services include the Clinical Navigation Hub which is the telephone triage services that we provide in LLR, helping those patients who call us to get the right treatment at the right time from the right person. There’s also the Alternative Roles Reimbursement Scheme which is where our practitioners with a Paramedic background work in one of our partners’ GP surgeries. It’s an innovative and very practical way of using our colleagues’ expertise across different areas to help reduce the pressure on the system when other areas become busy.

“The Unscheduled Care Hub is the latest service we’ve brought online, it was introduced at the beginning of 2022. I’m now proud to say is part of a national project that brings representatives of services within LLR together with the aim of reviewing each patient list ‘live’. It’s an important initiative that helps us to see if the planned service we have organized as part of the patient’s care pathway is the most appropriate one. It means that we can make real time changes to their pathway if circumstances change or it becomes clear that a different approach would benefit the patient.

“It’s not just the regional and national projects that I like to get involved in, it’s important for me to look inward and get involved in staff projects and seasonal initiatives. That’s why I’m part of the seasonal flu vaccination group which I am part of with the aim of increasing the number of staff who take up the option of a vaccine. It’s really important to ensure we keep ourselves safe and we have learnt a lot from Covid that in order to keep our services running effectively we need to look after our staff. By making the vaccination more readily available, provide more options such as peer vaccinators, roving and static clinics and a contact number for those working in the community to arrange for a vaccine to be given helps to bring that to everyone. Flu can be a serious illness to some individuals and the vaccine helps to build a barrier to protect our staff, their families and patients, so I hope our colleagues take up the option. Look out for it, we’ll be rolling it out soon.”

Thanks to Sarah for telling us about her role and keep your eyes peeled for DHU’s next #WhatDoYouDo.

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