Meet Abi, Clinical Services Lead in the Offender Health team | Bristol Community Health Careers Bristol Community Health


Clinical Services Lead

“The work I do is very challenging, very demanding but above all very interesting.”

  • Tell us about your role. What do you get up to on a typical day/week?

    I am Clinical Services Lead for Offender Health. This means I am working across the five prisons BCH work in partnership with and other health care providers such as Inspire Better Health. I am new in the post so I am working to understand offender healthcare and the specific needs of the patient group we work with as well as getting to know the staff at each site. Part of my role is developing advanced practice within the teams in each prison- something which is a relatively new concept but which has been running within the rest of the organisation for two or three years. I worked as an advanced practitioner within Community Nursing Services prior to taking on this job role and it is something I am passionate about and have seen real team development and improved patient care since it has been introduced into the community.

    As a Clinical Lead I am running a clinic in one of the prisons every two weeks so that my assessment and diagnostic skills remain current and up to date – I do not feel I can be a Clinical Lead without still having patient contact. Each day is different and I can be in any of the five prisons or in South Plaza, I can be in clinics, doing clinical supervision, teaching or in meetings discussing work force development and development pathways or clinical governance meetings.

  • What's the best thing about working in the community? What made you choose this line of work?

    It’s dynamic and interesting. I never dreamt that when I joined BCH three years ago that I would be working in a prison. Working with a committed team is very inspiring, I collaborate with lots of different members of BCH and enjoy having a meeting of minds to continue to develop and drive healthcare in the community forwards. Something I am particularly interested in is how simulation can support staff in learning – I am due to attend a training session about this towards the end of this month.

  • Describe the working culture here?

    Family friendly, flexible working and a commitment to learning. The focus on personal development within BCH is second to none. I have just completed my PGCE in nursing which, though a hard slog, I have found stimulating and invaluable in my new role. The study opportunities I have been given since working within the organisation have been better than anywhere else I have worked. I feel that the fact we are all shareholders means that we all have a commitment to the success of the company. The staff council is active and holds the board to account, ensuring that the interests and needs of the staff, as well as those of the patients and other stakeholders are considered.
    The benefits system, specifically the cycle to work scheme and the electric bikes within BCH, have meant that I can enjoy riding to work/travel between sites by bike – I can exercise whilst at work!

  • What do you think makes someone successful here?

    Achieving BCH’s values means that someone is successful.

  • Tell us about the learning and development and career progression opportunities?

    See above. We have just begun to write a clear clinical career pathway from B2-7 which can be mapped across all adult services.

  • What’s the most rewarding thing about your role?

    Seeing care improve, seeing staff develop and work together to optimise patient care.

  • What do you think patients would say about the service you provide?

    I am working to develop shared decision making within the teams and it is my belief that the mantra “making every contact counts” (MECC) is nowhere more important than within offender health. I hope our patients feel supported and listened to when they meet our teams and that they are enabled to be part of the decision making process when it comes to their health.

Back to stories