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60 seconds with lead nurse for specialist mental health services Angela Shorter 

Working in mental health gives you a huge amount of satisfaction, and the right opportunity always comes along, says lead nurse for specialist services Angela Shorter

Working in mental health gives you a huge amount of satisfaction, and the right opportunity always comes along, says lead nurse for specialist services Angela Shorter

Angela Shorter
Angela Shorter.

Angela Shorter has worked at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, and its predecessor organisations, since qualifying as a mental health nurse in 1996. Her first role was as a staff nurse on an acute admissions ward, and she has also held ward manager, matron and service manager posts within the trust's acute mental health services. She has also worked in community mental health services, court liaison and addiction services. In 2018, she will take up a post as matron for the trust’s new mother and baby inpatient unit, alongside her role as lead nurse for specialist services. 

What are your main work responsibilities?  
Supporting the recruitment, development and subsequent opening of our new mother and baby inpatient unit in 2018. 

Who are your clients/patients?
Women with perinatal mental health issues who cannot be supported at home and require an inpatient stay in hospital. 

What do you love about your job? 
The variety of the work. Having a dual role is extremely rewarding, as I feel I can make a real difference.

What do you find most difficult? 
Staff recruitment – we are determined to recruit the best team, but recruitment is a challenging part of any managerial role.

What is your top priority at work?
Recruiting the mother and baby unit team, including 11 staff nurses. I am excited about our recruitment campaign, which launches in January.

How have you developed your skills in this role? 
Varied experience working in mental health services, and through additional training, support from colleagues and managerial guidance. 

What has been your most formative career experience? 
Securing the mother and baby unit matron role is a significant milestone in my career, as I’ll be shaping Kent’s first mother and baby inpatient service. 

If you hadn’t become a nurse, what would you have done instead? 
I have wanted to be a nurse since I was five years old, but my backup plan was to be a hairdresser. 

What is the best lesson nursing has taught you? 
To remain composed and compassionate during all interactions with patients, regardless of any issues you may be facing in your personal life. 

What career advice would you give your younger self? 
Working in mental health will give you a huge amount of satisfaction, professionally and personally. The right opportunity always comes along.

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