We caught up with the Bank Nurses Award finalists ahead of tonight’s big event!

Gail Winter of Sevenposts surgery in Cheltenham spoke to us about her joint nomination with Debbie Sibley of College Yard surgery in Gloucester. They have been nominated as a bank nursing team for their work helping to deliver a programme to people who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes.


Firstly, congratulations on being shortlisted for The Bank Nurses Awards, how does it feel to be shortlisted?

Thanks, we didn’t expect it at all. We had no idea we had even been nominated until we received the email to say we had been shortlisted. We then found out the lead nurse of the community diabetes team had nominated us; it was great for us both to be nominated, as a pair.

You were nominated for delivering the Diabetes Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed (DESMOND) programme. Can you tell us a little bit about the programme and your involvement?

The DESMOND programme delivers patient education to people with Type 2 diabetes. People are often shocked when they are first diagnosed with diabetes; they can be frightened about not knowing what they are, and aren’t able to eat. We aim to see all patients within 4-6 weeks of being diagnosed and provide educational groups, where we increase the patient’s knowledge and understanding of what having diabetes will mean for them. This may be through changing the patient’s diet and providing them with leaflets for weight management programmes. We cover a 50 mile radius across Gloucestershire, which means we travel a lot to different patient groups, in a variety of places, including GP surgeries and community centres.

You also both work in surgeries, so why do you also work flexible shifts as a bank nurse?

I have recently moved from working as district nurse to a non-nursing job at the surgery and Debbie is still working as a district nurse. Sometimes two jobs are better than one. It means we can manage our work and home commitments more easily. We both have twins so childcare is more manageable when you’re a bank nurse.

We both have an interest in diabetes and being a bank nurse means we can work on the DESMOND programme, as well as working flexible shifts at our surgeries. We wanted to work more on the educational side of nursing and are lucky enough to get training on the DESMOND programme, which means we keep our skills and knowledge up to date.

Would you recommend bank nursing to other nurses?

Yes, definitely. If you have existing skills which you don’t use in your main role, but that you want to keep up, it’s great. You’re always learning and I would definitely recommend it to nurses with families, or for anyone who has been out of the profession for a while and wants to get back into nursing. It’s also a great way of earning some extra money, but the best thing about bank work is the ability to pick and choose shifts.

It’s the first time there has been a Bank Nurses Award, what do you think about this category?

We think this award category is great; it gives more recognition to bank nurses who are a vital part of the NHS. People tend to forget how important a good network of bank nurses is, in order to cover absences and fill shifts. We are honoured to be shortlisted for this award and are really excited about attending the awards ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

You can find out more about the DESMOND programme here

“It was my great privilege to be part of the panel that shortlisted the entries for the excellent work of these three bank nurses. They all make worthy winners and are shining examples of the best of bank nursing. I wish them the very best of luck and a well deserved evening of celebration at the Victoria and Albert Museum on the 12th March.” – Karen Barraclough, Senior Nurse/Head of Governance at NHS Professionals.

NHS Professionals is extremely proud to sponsor The Bank Nurses Award, a new category for the Nursing Standard Awards 2013. The award recognises and celebrates the valuable contribution that bank nurses make to nursing teams at Trusts and wards across the NHS. We wish all the finalists the very best of luck for this evening’s event. For more information about NHS Professionals click here.

Click here to make sure you’re following @NHSPBank so you’re the first to find out who wins!

About the author

NHS Professionals administrator

NHS Professionals manages the temporary staffing needs of around 66 NHS Trusts across England. An integral part of the NHS, it aims to reduce Trusts’ spending on flexible workers without compromising quality, by providing greater transparency of demand and supplying bank staff at the best possible rate. Its bank of more than 40,000 flexible workers comprises general and specialist nurses, doctors, midwives, admin/clerical , allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, support services among other healthcare professionals.

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