Analysis

From hospital to battlefield and back

Emergency Nurse Anna Crossley has a CV that anyone who desires travel and adventure would envy. ‘Someone once told me that my CV was like Marmite; you would either love it or hate it,’ she laughs.

 Anna Crossley. Picture credit: Alison Baskerville

Emergency Nurse Anna Crossley has a CV that anyone who desires travel and adventure would envy. ‘Someone once told me that my CV was like Marmite; you would either love it or hate it,’ she laughs.

It seems the RCN loved it because it has appointed Ms Crossley professional lead for acute, emergency and critical care. It is a role that will draw on her wide-ranging experience of the military and public health.

She qualified as an adult nurse in 2003 from King’s College London and has completed postgraduate courses in expedition medicine and emergency nursing, and has a diploma in tropical nursing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Deployed to Afghanistan

Her career took her from hospital to battlefield when, as a captain in Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corp in 2009/10, she was deployed to Afghanistan, where she worked in a Camp Bastion emergency department (ED) and provided medical care on the front line.

In 2012, Ms Crossley returned to Afghanistan with the Royal Welsh as a female engagement officer, translator, cultural adviser and medical care worker for women in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. She received the Glover Award for outstanding contribution to military nursing for this work.

Degree in public health

On her return from Afghanistan, she completed a Master of Science degree in public health in developing countries, before working for Public Health England (PHE).

Ms Crossley’s interest in remote and wilderness medicine has also led her to provide medical cover in Gibraltar, Kenya and Mongolia.

‘My career jumps all over the place, but I have good experience of acute admissions and have worked in emergency care for a long time,’ she says. ‘I have followed patients from the ED, through to theatre and into critical care, so I have an understanding of each of the areas I will be representing at the RCN.’

Gaining insights

Ms Crossley’s time at PHE exposed her to the workings of government and healthcare commissioning, gaining insights that she believes will be useful in her new role.

‘I want to work with key health stakeholders in the four UK countries so that our members can be heard, particularly about a new urgent and emergency care system.’

Safe staffing

Monitoring implementation of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations for safe staffing in urgent and emergency care, and watching how NHS England’s vanguard sites develop, are also top of Ms Crossley’s to-do list.

‘People speak of winter pressures, but demand on emergency departments is a year-round crisis. Safe staffing and the vanguard pilots are addressing it,’ she says.

 

 

 

 

 

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