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Meet the NHS Blood and Transplant team: Anne Davidson

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NHS Blood and Transplant is a special health authority that provide a blood and transplantation service to the NHS, looking after blood donation services in England and transplant services across the UK. This week, we’re looking at the work of the patient blood management practitioner team’s education lead  Anne Davidson

I joined the Better Blood Transfusion Team, as it was called then, in June 2011 after 22 years of post registration practice in the acute sector. I was nervous about my decision to move but, I have absolutely no regrets.

“Flexibility works both ways to the benefit of both the organisation and me”

My personal circumstances meant that, ideally, I wanted to work more regular hours and this team worked out perfectly. Flexibility is required as days can be long due to travelling but, this flexibility works both ways to the benefit of both the organisation and me.

I had been a senior ward sister for 14 years loving high acuity/dependency care specialities. I was a self confessed clinical “adrenaline junkie”. However, I knew I was ready for a change and a new challenge.

I was pessimistic, believing I wouldn’t have the relevant experience, having not worked within haematology, to be considered for the post. However, I was wrong, transferable skills were the main consideration and a team of varying backgrounds considered a strength.

“These opportunities have steered my career in directions I never expected”

It has certainly proven to be a challenge, I had a very steep learning curve initially but was given endless support; from day one my clinical knowledge and experience was valued and my opinion considered.

The opportunities for professional development, since I joined the team, have been extensive; I have attended international conferences, had articles published, become a member of national groups and contributed to national guidelines to name but a few.

These opportunities have steered my career in directions I never expected, culminating in my promotion to my current post in November of last year. Once again this has brought new challenges and another steep curve to climb!

I am currently the education lead for the patient blood management practitioner team, providing educational resources for patients and all staff involved in the transfusion process.

”Once again this has brought new challenges and another steep curve to climb”

These include e-learning packages, courses and conferences both regionally and nationally, apps and animated videos. We produce a variety of patient information leaflets (PILs) which cover several aspects of blood transfusion.

In November 2017, following a rigorous assessment by NHS England, the team achieved the Information Standard for their PILs. The standard demonstrates that information used is clear, accurate, evidence-based, up-to-date and easy to use which allows people, patients and communities to become better informed and more involved in their health and care.

In summary, I can highly recommend working for NHS Blood and Transplant. I was anxious that being an “adrenaline junkie” that I would miss my “fixes” but this has rarely been the case. I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn in an environment where my existing knowledge and experience is appreciated.

NHS Blood and Transplant is a special health authority that provide a blood and transplantation service to the NHS, looking after blood donation services in England and transplant services across the UK. This includes managing the donation, storage and transplantation of blood, organs, tissues, bone marrow and stems cells, and researching new treatments and processes. Find out more about nursing careers at NHS Blood and Transplant.

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