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Meet Kerry Whittingham Regional Clinical Lead, East

About Me

Hi there! I’m Kerry and I am the regional clinical lead nurse for the East of England. I joined Helping Hands in June 2021, absolutely love my job and plan to stay for as long as the company wants me! The role itself involves supporting our live-in and visiting care services with training the carers and producing our customers’ individual person-centred support plans. It can sometimes involve a lot of driving, but I absolutely love driving too!

During my childhood I spent all my free time drawing and painting. Entering the working world at 14, I became a grafter. At age 19 I had 4 part time jobs just so I could live alone and own a Vespa! Prior to nursing, my jobs included sales assistant, barmaid and waitress, although my passion remained for art, and for my A-Levels I studied Fine Art, English Language & Literature and Textiles, wanting nothing more than to be an artist. I was offered a place at De Montfort University to study Fine Art and Advertising, but I had a gut feeling that I wasn’t meant to be an artist for a ‘living’, but rather in my free time.

I then landed a job in advertising as an executive for a local newspaper, here my role included producing adverts and proof-reading the team’s work prior to print. However, it was when I became a mother that I knew ‘caring’ was where my passion really was. I have always loved caring for people, and there is nothing more rewarding than helping to make someone feel better or feel supported whilst they are unwell.

I have worked in many settings as a nurse since qualifying and as the future of nursing changes, with the aim to keep patients in their own homes for as long as possible, I was inspired to work for Helping Hands. Their values are strong and always upheld, whilst delivering high-quality care at home – so I feel as if it is the perfect place for me to be.

Career Pathway

I began my career in care in 2010 as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. In this role I really found my passion for care and knew I wanted to take it further. I completed NVQ’s in Health and Social Care, Leadership and Equality and Diversity.

I then applied for a place at Nottingham University to study Adult Nursing and was ecstatic when I was accepted. Nottingham University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and studying with them was one of the best experiences I’ve had. I spent some of my time during the course supporting the student council and really made the most out of my time there; I was very fortunate to have such a broad variety of placements in most health care specialities.

I completed my course and began Nursing on an Acute Surgical Ward, caring for some of the most acutely unwell patients’ who had all different types of complex surgery including bariatric gastric band surgery. It was here where I worked with the most articulate senior nurses who took compliance and documentation standards very seriously and of course, I followed suit and really developed my confidence in my ability to work to the highest of standards. I then expanded my wings and worked as a flexible nurse in every area of the Trust, getting a feel for all different specialities and expanding my confidence, knowledge, and skills.

Qualifications and Professional Development

I then went onto work briefly for the Department of Work and Pensions before Nursing within the pharmaceutical industry. I worked in a variety of roles, beginning with a role as a clinical nurse educator for patients with multiple sclerosis, within the same company I then went on to be a nurse advisor for patients on biologic therapies across England and Wales for a variety of conditions including multiple sclerosis, severe complex migraines and brittle asthma.

From here, before joining Helping Hands, I went to work in another pharmaceutical company as a nurse advisor covering my own dedicated region, which was the East of England. Within this role, I was responsible for supporting patients on biologic therapy for ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Within this role I was responsible for managing my own caseload of around 160 patients, ensuring that I completed the NICE-approved clinical assessments and blood monitoring in order for my patients to qualify for treatment funding.