Memory Dzvene is head of nursing for integrated medicine at Ealing Hospital. She joined Northwick Park Hospital in 2005 just after qualifying and has worked for the Trust ever since.
How does a typical day start for you?
I come in at 7.30am, go through my emails and Datix reports overnight and then I attend the safety brief at 8.30am in the site office. This is led by the matron of the day and we go through our staffing levels, incidences, acuity and dependency. This meeting helps us ensure safety across all our wards and areas. We also go through our bed capacity for the day, definite and potential discharges and any issues that need to be escalated.
Then I do my walkrounds. I walk all my wards on a daily basis, because I feel that if I’m not visible, then I won’t have a good sense of what’s happening on the ground.
What’s the biggest change in the NHS since you started?
I think it would have to be the complexity of the patients. When I qualified, the AAU was very busy, but the type of patients we’re seeing now are those with complex diseases, and also an increase in social issues. I do think we’ve got better at managing these complex patients – we’re adapting and facing the challenge.
What have you most enjoyed in your career so far?
I do have a passion for patient care. Everything I do, I think of the patient at the end of it all – it keeps things in perspective. When you nurse a patient, you see them come in at the beginning of their treatment, and then the difference when they leave, and that’s what it’s all about. In my role at the moment, it’s really about being at a level where I can be heard and be an advocate for the patient, whether it’s implementing service improvements or being involved in responding to complaints. It is also about ensuring that staff are engagement and well-being.
What’s your funniest memory?
It was on one of those days, you know, when it’s incredibly busy – AAU was just crazy that day. We got to do our handover, and it was time to go home. We all went to get changed, and my colleague changed from her uniform into her clothes, and she picked up her handbag, said goodbye and headed for the door. As she opened the door, another colleague called out to her, ‘Haven’t you forgotten something?’ It took her a couple of seconds to realise that she had forgotten to put one of her shoes!
What do you feel when you think of the NHS?
That it’s the nation’s health service – it brings everything together. It’s not just about the patients in the hospital bed, but about the whole nation.
Where do you see the NHS in another 70 years?
There will have been loads of innovation – technology, research, treatments, especially for diseases like cancer. But I also think that nursing will have changed a lot – nursing has been evolving, and if you look at it now compared to just thirty years ago, it’s very different already. There’s an element of sustainability to that – as people live longer, we will have to adapt the way we provide care.