My job

60 seconds with learning disability consultant nurse Gwen Moulster

Recognise the importance of putting the person and their family at the heart of everything you do, says independent nurse consultant Gwen Moulster.

Recognise the importance of putting the person and their family at the heart of everything you do, says independent nurse consultant Gwen Moulster 

Balancing what's needed with what resources are available is the hardest
part of the job says Gwen Moulster. Picture: iStock

Gwen Moulster devoted her 40-year nursing career to improving the care of adults and children with a learning disability, with roles including clinical nurse specialist, lead nurse, and associate director of nursing. Last year she was awarded an OBE for services to nursing and people with a learning disability, and was part of a team that won the learning disability nursing award at the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016. She retired from the NHS last year and now works as an independent consultant nurse and honorary teaching fellow at Kingston University. 

What are your main work responsibilities?
Policy and strategy development, leadership and mentorship, independent consultancy and teaching. 

How did you get your job?  
Working at a national level helped my reputation in learning disability nursing, and since retiring I have been approached with offers of work. 

Who are your clients/patients?
People with learning disabilities and their families, learning disability nurses and students, and NHS and other organisations associated with people who have learning disabilities.

What do you love about your job? 
Working with people with learning disabilities and their families to enable better health outcomes, and supporting and encouraging the personal and professional development of others. 

What do you find most difficult? 
Achieving a balance between what is needed and what is available. The effect that limited and declining resources can have on someone’s well-being upsets me. 

What is your top priority at work?
To be person-centred and strive for the highest standards, to help overcome the barriers to good health faced by people with learning disabilities.

What has been your most formative career experience? 
At the start of my career I was privileged to be guided by the most inspirational ward sister, who taught me the importance of caring.  

What will be your next career move? 
Director of a community interest company, to further develop the Health Equalities Framework so it can be used in clinical settings other than learning disabilities.

What is the best lesson nursing has taught you? 
To recognise the importance of putting the person and their family and the things that matter to them at the heart of everything I do.

What career advice would you give your younger self? 
Listen more and talk less. Be patient, trust your instincts and choose a career path that feels right for you. 

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