Laura Ireland

Interim team leader specialist children’s nursing services, Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust

I’m Laura and I completed my children’s nurse training in 2010. The vast majority of my career has been spent working in the community supporting children with complex health care needs within special schools, respite centres and in patients’ homes.

I work with a skilled team of specialist community children’s nurses who provide a wide range of nursing and extended nursing roles. We facilitate the promotion of health needs and the delivery of medical care and treatments for children with complex health needs. By working with children and young people within their usual environment, we are able to reduce the number of hospital stays/visits; this is a key remit of our team alongside supporting and empowering parents/carers/young people to manage their own health needs. This helps towards ensuring that the child or young person has access to the same care opportunities as those without additional needs. In addition to this, our service supports a palliative care pathway for children and young people alongside our local hospice and oncology teams.

I have worked in this team for 9 years, initially as a band 5 and band 6. In August 2022, I was successful in applying for band 7 team leader secondment which is currently on-going. I now manage a team of 12 band 6 and band 5 nurses. Navigating the change of working alongside my peers to line managing them was probably one of my biggest worries but everyone has been so supportive and feedback from the team generally has been that I’ve just slotted into this role quite naturally which I’ve been really pleased to hear.

I have known about the fellowship programme for a few years, having been told about it by one of my other team leaders but I wasn’t eligible to apply until I was in a band 7 role. I’m really excited to be here and look forward to the journey ahead with the rest of the fellows. My hopes are that I will grow as a facilitative leader and be able to continue motivating my team, promoting creativity and positive change. I am hoping to become more confident in my role and look forward to sharing ideas with others.

I am passionate about improving care and I hope that by completing this programme, I will be able to review our current practice by involving the team, patients and their families to establish new and more effective ways of working.