Alex Penfold on Youth Mental Health Day 2023: Insights from a Mental Health Nurse and...
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MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice , PG Cert, Independent Prescribing , Dip HE Adult Nursing
I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 2003 and started work in the day surgery unit. I began my accident and emergency career in 2004. I have worked in many different emergency departments in London, Surrey, Berkshire and Lincolnshire, a deliberate attempt to gain as much varied experience as possible. I have managerial experience as a senior sister/team leader in the emergency department. This role involved taking charge of the department ensuring timely throughput of patients without compromising care, responding to arising problems, and ensuring my staff were supported and happy. I also line managed a small team of nurses, which involved sickness management, appraisals, problem solving and being a support mechanism, for personal problems as well as professional.
In 2009 I qualified as an emergency nurse practitioner, (ENP) and then subsequently as an advanced nurse practitioner (ANP). I completed my prescribing course in 2014, and achieved distinction for the Masters degree in advanced practice in 2019. Since leaving the NHS in 2017 I have worked in many different unscheduled care settings such as walk in centres (WIC), urgent care centres (UCC) GP streaming services and out of hours settings. This autonomous role includes: history taking, examination, diagnosing and treating adults and children with a wide range of minor injuries and minor illness, and referring to speciality teams as required.
I currently work for Somek and Associates as an associate trainer. This role involves providing quality assurance and training to new associates, to develop their role as a confident and competent expert witness. I also continue to maintain my own expert witness work through Somek and Associates. I maintain my clinical credibility through working regular locum shifts as an ANP. I am also involved in the roll out of the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service within the Primary Care Networks. My role in this project involves teaching community pharmacists nationwide how to take a detailed history from patients, and how to undertake various clinical skills. My other current role is as a Covid vaccinator, assisting in the vaccination programme in my local area.
I keep myself updated, through attending courses and ensuring that I am aware of developments in my field through reading and researching evidence based practice. I have had articles published in the Emergency Nurse Journal and in 2018 spoke at a conference at the Royal College of Physicians to medical negligence solicitors.
I accept instructions from both Claimant and Defendant Solicitors and Insurers. I have undergone formal training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses.