Chloe Herbert

Surgical Matron, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford

I joined Heybridge ward as a band 5 RN in 2010 and at that time it was a mixed elective and emergency surgery ward specialising in Upper GI and Colorectal surgery. Heybridge became my second home and after a few years I was fortunate to be promoted to a Band 6 Junior Sister and then in 2019 was asked to be the acting band 7 which has now become a permanent position.

Throughout the Covid 19 pandemic, all elective surgery was stopped at Broomfield and Heybridge became a ‘red’ Covid ward for patients aged 70 and under, all for active treatment. Over the last few months, we have been regaining a bit of ‘normality’ and have now become an emergency surgery ward (the electives are on our ‘green’ neighbouring ward). We now care for a wider range of specialities including vascular, plastics, urology some gynae as well as our familiar colorectal and upper GI patients.

Our patients arrive on the ward either via the surgical assessment ward, A+E, post operatively or as a step down from GICU or GHDU. We have also recently been piloting a day case emergency theatre list to help free up beds and improve surgical flow. So far it has been a success and these patients have gone home the same day which improves their experience and recovery.

There are 49 of us in the team including band 6 junior sisters, band 5 RNs, band 3 HCSWs, band 2 HCAs, ward clerks and a housekeeper. We are a very close team and although during the pandemic many members of staff were redeployed daily, we continued supporting each other and stayed in close contact.

I was made aware of this programme and encouraged to apply by my director of nursing. I had not heard of the Inspire Improvement Fellowship programme before but am very excited to start my journey. There has been so much unrest and change in the time I have worked on Heybridge and learning to embrace change and create a positive culture will help me and my team provide the best possible care for our patients and also produce a working environment where all are supported and treated as equals.

I look forward to learning new skills, meeting new people and hearing about others’ experiences and working together to become more confident and a well-rounded leader.

Jan 2022 Update

Delighted to have been appointed Surgical Matron at Broomfield Hospital.