Celebrating our staff on International Women’s Day

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

We’re supporting International Women’s Day 2017 by celebrating the achievements of women who work to provide excellent care for our patients, regardless of gender.

Every year on 8 March, people across the world celebrate the achievements of women and pledge to take action for gender equality. We are embracing this year's theme of 'Be Bold for Change', to encourage people to help make a more gender inclusive world. Some of our wonderful women have shared their views on what this day means to them.

Click on an image to read their story.

 

 

Seema Srivastava, Consultant Physician/ Associate Medical Director

SeemaI deliver medical care for complex care patients on the medical wards and in outpatients. I also provide complex care for trauma and orthopaedic patients and emergency surgery patients.

Any career highlights?
Leading the development of a combined ‘National Early Warning Score and Pain’ chart across two large hospitals. This has led to patients at risk of deterioration being identified early to get the urgent reviews they need.

Who is your inspirational female?
Jessica Ennis - she showed the world that you can be a good mum and achieve your ambitions. I’m a running coach for mums getting back into exercise, as well as being a mother of a gorgeous four year-old boy and I am passionate about my career. I take inspiration from Jessica that it is possible to have a balance of interests, ambitions and family life as a full time working mother.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?
It’s an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic women I work with, fantastic women I run with and the very special women in my family life.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust?
It is a fantastic, growing, successful organisation with incredible colleagues who go the extra mile every day for their patients and teams.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’?
I will champion women’s education by becoming involved with the NBT ambassador scheme; visiting schools and colleges to inspire young women to consider a career in the NHS.


Marcia Dawkins, Interim Theatre Coordinator

MarciaI manage a team who work in the emergency theatre, ensuring the service we provide is safe and efficient for all patients.

Any career highlights?
Getting positive feedback about the care my team and I provided to a trauma patient; it was inspiring.

Who is your inspirational female?
Mary Seacole; a fellow Jamaican who has made a difference, and Maya Angelou, who inspires all females in the world through her words. Both of these women’s style of leadership and determination has made me realise that I can make a difference.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?
It provides an opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate those women who have made, and continue to make, a difference in society. It opens a pathway for new adventures and changes that women can make, and things that women can do to support each other throughout the world.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust?
NBT has reopened doors for me. I have been given the opportunity to develop my skills further and am proud of the Trust’s innovative nature.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’?
I will Be Bold for Change by celebrating all women’s achievements. By being my patients’ advocate and sticking by what is right for them. I will be that patient’s voice. I will always advocate for fairness for staff and stand and promote for things that are right. I will promote change that benefits patients and staff.


Andria Merrison, Consultant Neurologist

AndriaI lead specialist regional services for people living with neuromuscular conditions and people living with Motor Neurone Disease. We deliver specialist, holistic services as close to home as possible; crossing traditional boundaries of health and social care and crossing organisational divides.

Any career highlights?
Establishing the Bristol Motor Neurone Disease Centre and the South West Neuromuscular Operational Delivery Network; receiving a UK ‘Centre of Excellence’ award for the latter.

Who is your inspirational female?
I have two; my mother and Julian of Norwich. My mother is a mediaeval historian and an uncompromising, trailblazing lady whose directive to “plough your own furrow” have rung in my ears for over 40 years. Julian of Norwich, in 1345, was author of the first book in the English language to have been written by a woman.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?
A time to reflect on and adhere to its core values; justice, dignity, hope, equality, collaboration, tenacity, appreciation, respect, empathy and forgiveness, which, like the foundations of modern medicine, represent ancient virtues distilled over time, upheld by women and men through the ages.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust?
The extraordinary women (and men!) serving those in need of medicine and kindness, make me proud every day.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’
I will be bold, truthful, gentle and fearless in inspiring and supporting equality now and for the world of my three daughters, Alice, Grace and Olivia.


Denise Owen, Senior Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Specialist Nurse

DeniseMy role consists of both clinical and research care for patients living with MS.

Any career highlights?
Becoming a Senior MS nurse in 2009 and receiving my long service award in 2017 for over 30 years’ service within the NHS.

Who is your inspirational female?
Florence Nightingale; as she ensured the best care possible for patients.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust?
Because it is good to be part of a specialist service that is recognised both nationally and internationally.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?
An opportunity to reflect on what is happening and to recognise what needs to be improved.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’?
I will champion women’s education.


Lisa Marshall, Director of Midwifery

LisaI manage the women and children’s services.

Any career highlights?
Becoming Director of Midwifery/Head of Nursing  in the Trust I trained

Who is your inspirational female?
Emmeline Pankhurst. She changed opportunities for a whole generation and those that followed. She gave women a voice to vote.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust?
Because of the wonderful staff who go the extra mile for patients, providing high-quality safe care.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?
An opportunity to identify stories and experiences from women from all around the world, and sharing those experiences to raise awareness of important messages to the next generation.

How you will ‘Be Bold For Change’?
I will celebrate women’s achievements and share learning.


Elizabeth Coulthard, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Dementia Neurology

ElizabethI spend half the week as a clinical neurologist focusing on cognitive disorders such as dementia, and half the week running research that aims to better understand memory loss and treat dementia.

Any career highlights?
Winning a Medical Research Council ‘Momentum’ award to use SPHERE technology in early dementia diagnosis.

Who is your inspirational female?
Professor Sarah Blakemore (Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London) is one of my best friends and always an inspiration.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust?
Times have been hard but we’ve still been able to set up new services and drive improvements. Both grassroots enthusiasm and strong leadership have allowed us to enhance care and foster innovation.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’?
I will continue to ensure we offer world-class research and high-quality clinical care to all our patients.


Dr Nicola Minaur, Consultant Rheumatologist

NicolaI treat patients with arthritis in clinics in Southmead and Cossham Hospital. I also lead on Rheumatology Transition (young people with arthritis moving to adult services), and coordinate the rheumatology teaching for third year medical students at the University of Bristol.

Any career highlights?
Helping set up the rheumatology patient representatives group and the rheumatology telephone advice line.

Who is your inspirational female?
Jane Dacre, President of the Royal College of Physicians London, who is a consultant rheumatologist. She has spelled out to government the problems in English hospitals due to increased demand and lack of social care provision.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?
It’s a chance to reflect on how far women have come and to discuss with my daughters things which have improved in my lifetime. There’s still a way to go though.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust?
I am proud of the service we give our rheumatology patients. We have a great multidisciplinary team, and include patients in our service planning. Through changes to how we work, we are getting increasing numbers of people with rheumatoid arthritis into remission, which was impossible previously.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’?
I will always challenge outdated assumptions about what women can achieve.


Dr Leilah Dare, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Lead Consultant for the Emergency Department

LeilahMy main clinical role is the emergency management of all types of patients. This is very rewarding as we are able to make a huge difference to people’s lives in a short space of time. I am also responsible for leading the Emergency Department and am passionate about us being the best we can possibly be.  

Any career highlights?
Being appointed a consultant at Southmead. I felt like I was coming home; I couldn’t believe I had managed to get a job in the best department in the South West.

Who is your inspirational female?
Dr Kirsten Jones for being at the forefront of emergency medicine and for being my role model. Miss Anne Pullyblank for being the first female surgeon I could relate to.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?
A chance to be thankful for all we have achieved. To celebrate those who have been role models for us and to do the same for those starting out on their journey.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust?
I am proud of the care we deliver. I am very proud to have an executive team with so many women in key roles.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’
I will encourage women to believe they can do anything. I never felt hampered by being female. I challenge women to never think they can’t do something because they are a woman.


Ruth Sidgwick, Arts Programme Manager

RuthI support patient wellbeing through creative activities and enhancing the patient environment.

Any career highlights?
It’s about the impact the arts programme makes in so many ways, but the whole of the ‘Knit With Me’ project has been a joy to so many people; patients, staff and visitors, as has the live music programme, especially when we’ve been able to perform to a patient at the end of their life.

Who is your inspirational female?
It can’t be just one! Malala Yousafzai – what a courageous, visionary, inspirational young woman; if it’s not too cheesy to say this, she gives me hope for the future of the human race; Paula Rego for the originality and power of what she says about the lives of women through her painting; Chrissie Hynde for her kick-ass attitude and great music; Jane Austen for the enjoyment and escapism her writing gives to me

What does International Women's Day mean to you?
It’s one day on which to shine a light on the other 364 days on which women quietly - sometimes too quietly - go about the business of making life tick, of taking risks for what they believe in.  And it reminds me what a privilege it is to be the mother of a wonderful daughter and I can only hope I can be a good enough role model for her.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust?
Because it’s progressive and larger than the sum of its parts. We have plenty of inspirational staff members (and the majority are women!) who never forget the really important stuff: care and compassion.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’
By not compromising: always go for the best something can be - every one of us, of whatever gender, deserves that.


Anne Pullybank, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon

AnneI look after patients who require surgery for a bowel problem such as cancer and I look after patients requiring emergency surgery.

Any career highlights?
Winning a national patient safety award in 2011 and ‘Bristol Team of the Year’ last year. Being part of marvellous teams who bring about improvement in care for patients.

Who is your inspirational female?
There are so many and basically I came down to any woman from any field that has ever made it onto desert island discs! Michelle Obama, Caitlin Moran and Orla Guerin come to mind.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?
It is chance to celebrate the contribution that women make to society both professionally and within the family, and to highlight existing inequalities throughout the world.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust?
Because it is an environment where I have been able to change things for the better and where I have been nurtured to achieve my potential.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’?
I will continue to do things that scare and challenge me to bring about change.


Melanie De Witt, Head of Nursing for Neurosciences

MelI am the lead for the registered nurses and healthcare support workers working in the Neurosciences directorate. I am responsible for patient safety, quality of care and development and support of staff.

Any career highlights? 
I have really enjoyed the number of opportunities that being a registered nurse and working in the public health sector has given me. In my 30 year career I have worked in a large variety of settings - working with children, adults and families, delivering care in community, hospitals and homes. As well as delivering frontline nursing care myself, I have been able to share my knowledge and best practice teaching in universities and further education, and have had the pleasure of leading amazing teams of dedicated and compassionate nurses.

Who is your inspirational female?
My inspirational female is Michelle Obama -she worked incredibly hard, seizing every opportunity to develop a successful career, and used her profile to promote education and equal opportunities for young women and girls all over the world, without compromising her commitment to her own family

What does International Women's Day mean to you? 
During my lifetime I have seen a real change in our own society’s attitude to women and girls with greater access to education and improved opportunities in the work place. However there is still work to do in closing the pay gap, and ensuring equal opportunities for men and women to progress in their careers and achieve a healthy balance in work and life. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on our progress in this country and to remember the work that needs to be done to promote freedom of choice, access to education and healthcare to women and girls in developing countries

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust? 
Because of the very strong focus on our shared values and principles, particularly recognising the needs of individual patients, families and staff members. I am immensely encouraged and motivated by the way that our staff continually exceed expectations to provide high standards of care and support.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’? 
I will support equal development opportunities for every woman to achieve their full potential.

Andrea Young, Chief Executive

AndreaI lead North Bristol NHS Trust to become one of the safest trusts in the country and to deliver care our staff can be proud of.

Any career highlights? 
Overseeing an incredible move from two hospitals into Brunel, and the fantastic commitment of staff to get in and sort it out!

Who is your inspirational female?
Angela Merkel for holding her own; Maya Angelou for poetry and the soul.

What does International Women's Day mean to you? 
Global celebration of achievement against some challenging contexts.

Why are you proud to work for North Bristol NHS Trust? 
8,000 staff make me proud every day.  Never stop trying to be better.

How you will ‘Be Bold for Change’? 
Let people know it’s ok to try but fail.  Fear of failure is a life half lived.