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Meet Carole Kerton-Church Regional Clinical Lead, South East

About Me

“I’m the Regional Clinical Lead for South East. I am proud to have 20 years’ experience in care and nursing and can’t imagine that there is anything else that I would want to do more. I am passionate about proactive care and health education and I have been lucky enough not only to look after, but also work alongside so many different people – I’ve heard so many amazing and often inspiring stories. Working for Helping Hands enables me and my colleagues to support people in their own home – the place where most people want to stay for as long as they can. It’s so important and extremely rewarding.”

Career pathway

I started my care and nursing career as a Healthcare Assistant in a nursing home in 1998. By 2002 I was managing a large residential care home, and then in 2004 I started a Nursing Diploma at Anglia Ruskin University. I joined the Nursing and Midwifery Council register in 2007 and have since held posts as a Staff Nurse in an Acute Hospital Trust, Community Nursing Team Leader and Senior GP Nurse. My previous responsibilities have included supervising teams, safeguarding, Care Quality Commission (CQC) preparation and compliance and triage in emergency and primary care. I was a Tissue Viability Link Nurse as well as a Student Nurse Mentor, Clinical Supervisor and Continuing Healthcare Assessor.

My key areas of nursing interest are palliative care, complex wound management, pre-hospital care, consultation and diagnostics and care of older people. I am experienced in assessment and care in acute and emergency medicine, post-operative care, management of long-term conditions and end of life care. I have looked after people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), motor neurone disease (MND), cancer, as well as cardiac, respiratory and renal failure, haematology conditions such as thalassaemia, and spinal and brain injury. I am competent in catheterisation, PEG management, venepuncture and cannulation, intravenous and subcutaneous therapy, oxygen therapy, negative pressure dressing therapy, pressure area care, compression bandaging, insulin therapy, hormone replacement therapy (primarily in treating prostate cancer) and bowel care and stoma and urostomy care. I have also cared for patients undergoing gender reassignment.

I have worked alongside social workers, therapy services, hospice services and mental health services, as well as taking part in the annual ‘Flu-a-thon’ in my local area, where approximately 500 flu vaccines were administered in a community event whilst raising money for the local hospice. As a Tissue Viability Link Nurse, I regularly took part in wound dressings evaluation trials. As a GP nurse I participated in a wound dressing trial supporting the vascular surgeon who was caring for one of our patients at the acute hospital where I previously worked, as well as partaking in a research study focusing on women’s understanding of the human papilloma virus and cervical screening.

My proudest moment to date, other than graduating from university with a nursing qualification, has been helping to save the life of a patient who had a cardiac arrest during a routine appointment when I worked at a GP surgery. His cardiology surgeon called us to thank us later that day after the patient had undergone emergency heart surgery; the patient is still well a year later. Knowing that I was able to use my knowledge and training to save someone’s life is such an amazing feeling.

Qualifications and Professional Development

I have a Dip HE in Nursing (Adult), Certificate in Health and Social Care (Open), Mentorship in Health and Social Care, Consultation and Assessment Skills.

I have also undertaken the following training courses: asthma (adult and child), safeguarding Level 3 (child) and Level 2 (adult), diabetes complications and safe use of insulin, leg ulcer management, cervical smear and primary HPV screening, basic and advanced life support, moving and handling, introduction to childhood immunisations, primary care cardiology programme, infection prevention greencard, palliative and end of life care education programme, effective teamwork in healthcare, principles of acute pain management, vulnerable adult awareness, managing the neurogenic bladder, safe bowel management, introduction to information governance and Mental Capacity Assessment.

I have also attended seminars in dementia, wound management, diabetes, spinal injuries and writing for healthcare journals. I have worked alongside companies such as Smith and Nephew, Bayer, Coloplast, Urgo and Activa as well as Mid-Essex CCG, Essex Social Care and Suffolk Social Services.