Meet our nursing team, the experts in clinical care
The registered nurses in our nursing team come with years of clinical expertise and experience under their belts, enabling us to provide safe and personalised care for people with more complex healthcare needs.
The clinical care team works with continuing healthcare (CHC) teams and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to arrange fast-track home care packages that enable people to live in the comfort of their own homes. The team boasts extensive experience in the care sector, from working with charities and the NHS to providing one-to-one care.
Learn more about our nursing care services or get in touch with our team of clinical experts today to find out more.
Head of Clinical Care
Melanie Dawson, Registered Nurse and Registered Manager
Having been with Helping Hands in a nursing role for over 15 years, Melanie heads up the team enabling us to provide support for people with more complex healthcare needs who want to continue living at home with a degree of choice and independence. She regularly meets customers who believed that staying at home would not be possible. Melanie’s clinical experience covers a range of fields, including spinal injury, acquired brain injury, dementia, cerebral palsy, behavioural issues, and neurological illness.
During her time with Helping Hands, Melanie has been involved in the care of many of our customers with higher level needs often those with advanced forms of dementia and severe physical disabilities.
“Live-in care at home is bespoke. It’s one-to-one,” Melanie explained.
“I have the pleasure of working with a multi-talented team who bring a breadth of experience in clinical intervention. We are able to follow a clear path of developing and supporting our customers with a wide variety of clinical, physical and emotional needs, enabling them to achieve their ultimate aim of living in their own home with choice and dignity.”
Dementia care is a particular field of interest: prior to joining Helping Hands, Melanie managed a specialist hospital ward for dementia diagnoses and spent two years managing a nursing home supporting elderly individuals affected by dementia and unusual mental health issues.
Melanie is a Registered Manager with the Care Quality Commission and Registered Nurse with the Nursing & Midwifery Council.
Meet our Clinical Nurse Specialists
Julie May, Registered Nurse
After qualifying as a nurse in 2009, Julie initially worked at Warwick Hospital on the coronary care unit and cardiology ward. Since then, she has worked predominantly in palliative care, beginning in a local hospice before moving into community nursing in 2011.
In 2014, Julie began working as the clinical lead/ deputy manager in a nursing home, where she was responsible for clinical governance, auditing, and quality assurance. She assessed residents aged 43 – 104 prior to admission to ensure the facility was able to safely meet their needs. Additionally, Julie supervised approximately 33 clinical staff covering fields including end of life care, dementia care, chronic conditions such as COPD, heart failure, and renal failure; and support for family members.
Julie has experienced many different professional settings, including hospice and district nursing. Her expertise is focused on making a positive impact to her customers and their families. Julie’s clinical experience is complemented by her additional teaching qualification gained at Coventry University.
“To me, it is fundamental that care remains a choice,” she said. “A choice that is made by the person as an individual wherever possible, and one that involves that person in the planning of their care.”
Julie is a Registered Nurse with the Nursing & Midwifery Council and has completed further training with the NHS Leadership Academy, a programme that aims to help care leaders to improve patient experiences.
I truly believe that everyone deserves – and should be entitled to – nursing-led live-in care at home, regardless of illness, disability or financial circumstance.
Melanie Dawson, Head of Clinical Care
Samantha Atkins, Registered Nurse
Samantha has been with Helping Hands for some time and loves being able to help customers stay in their own homes with tailored care to suit their individual needs. She has worked alongside nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, dietitians, speech and language therapists, and carers.
As well as this, Samantha has worked with a training company providing training to both care workers and student nurses on a range of subjects, including manual handling, safeguarding, infection control, health and safety, and palliative care.
Samantha explained, “My most recent experience has been as the clinical lead/deputy manager in a nursing home, covering areas such as palliative care, dementia care, and chronic conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s disease and heart failure.”
Samantha is extremely passionate about care and she will always go the extra mile for her customers. She is a Registered Nurse with the Nursing & Midwifery Council.
Louise Bentley, Registered Nurse
Louise has over 20 years’ experience within the care sector, including holding key positions such as a Head of Clinical and as a Care Quality Commission Registered Manager. Throughout her career, Louise has worked with many different companies and each one has helped her to progress further. She is committed to ensuring that the people she supports with packages of person-centred care are happy and that their needs are fully met.
“This person-centred and individual approach is something that I bring to Helping Hands,” Louise said. “Alongside using my extensive clinical, leadership, and care knowledge to make sure their needs are met, I always want to ensure that at the end of the day, the person we are supporting is happy.”
First starting in care many years ago, Louise began supporting people with learning difficulties. She then worked as an agency carer, where she was involved in helping people with high level care needs, both in the community as well as in hospitals and nursing homes. After four years of doing this role, Louise decided to complete her nurse training and has now been a qualified nurse for over 12 years. She has also been in the position where she trained other nurses in complex tasks. For example – how to care for children who required the use of a ventilator.
Louise explained, “It’s important to me that our customers at Helping Hands have the chance to be open to every possible opportunity. I try and remove barriers which may be preventing that from happening without compromising their safety.
“When I first qualified as a nurse, I decided to go into critical care, working in theatres and intensive treatment units before becoming a continuing care team leader. At the same time, I was able to work in the paediatric sector with children who had been diagnosed with complex conditions and life limiting illnesses.”
Hannah Gambrell, Registered Nurse
Hannah primarily supports customers with more complex healthcare needs who are based within East Anglia. She holds a BSc Hons degree in Adult Nursing at the University of East Anglia and as a Registered Nurse with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, she previously supported patients in nursing homes, in a community setting and while working at an acute trust.
During her time working in an acute trust, Hannah worked within stroke services, which included the hyper-acute unit, acute unit and neurology. She has also gained extensive experience in caring for post thrombolysis patients, neurological patients, tracheostomy patients, patients on intravenous infusions, patients on enteral feeding and patients with complex needs.
Hannah is also highly experienced in managing the clinical aspects of care, and is accustomed to working in partnership with Continuing Healthcare, clinical commissioning groups, social services and private case management companies.
“I am passionate about enabling people to live safely at home with the facilitation they require to live as independently as possible,” she says.”It is so rewarding to facilitate them to achieve outcomes that, in another setting, they might not have had the opportunity to pursue.”
With much experience of supervising both upskilled support workers and registered nurses, together with delivering clinical training to support workers and completing their clinical competencies, Hannah talks about the support available at Helping Hands. “Most of our customers have a permanent carer, which means they have consistency and continuity of care. This is paramount in enabling them to achieve their outcomes, and I’m very proud to be part of a team that places so much value on this.”
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We’re here seven days a week to talk through your home care needs and find the best option for you. Call 03300376958 or request a callback and we will call you.