My job

60 seconds with respiratory nurse consultant Gail Miles 

Make every day the best you can for yourself and those around you. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, says respiratory nurse consultant Gail Miles

Make every day the best you can for yourself and those around you. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, says respiratory nurse consultant Gail Miles


Gail Miles says she loves to hear
patients say BreathingSpace has
made a difference to their lives.

Gail Miles is nurse consultant and clinical lead for BreathingSpace, a nurse-run unit for patients with long-term respiratory conditions in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. She has worked for more than 20 years in respiratory care, and her previous roles have included respiratory specialist nurse at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and respiratory nurse consultant at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Derbyshire, where she worked for five years before taking up her current post in 2006.

What are your main work responsibilities?

I am clinical lead for a range of sub-speciality respiratory clinics, a home oxygen and non-invasive ventilation service, and a large pulmonary rehabilitation service. The unit also has a 20-bed inpatient unit which cares for people with acute exacerbations of respiratory conditions as an alternative to hospital admission.

Who are your clients/patients?

People with respiratory disease.

What do you love about your job?

Hearing patients and carers say what a difference BreathingSpace has made to their lives, and the team I work with – from housekeepers to senior staff we all have the same aim.

What do you find most difficult?

Dealing with some of the higher-level politics of the NHS, and maintaining safe staffing levels so we can continue to provide high-quality care.

Related: How a nurse-led unit supports patients with respiratory disease

What is your top priority at work?

Delivering safe and timely care to our patients and motivating other staff to do the same.

How have you developed your skills in this role?

By taking every opportunity offered for mentorship and further learning, and by listening to and learning from patients about what is important to them.

What has been your most formative career experience?

While doing a summer job as a healthcare assistant when I was a student, I cared for a senior nurse who had undergone surgery for cancer. She told me I had all the qualities required to be a fantastic nurse.

If you hadn’t become a nurse, what would you have done instead?

Probably teaching. But as a nurse I have been able to be a teacher and so much more.

What is the best lesson nursing has taught you?

To appreciate every day and try to make that day the best you can for yourself and those around you. No one knows what tomorrow will bring.

What career advice would you give your younger self?

Do exactly what you have done, because you will have the most rewarding and enjoyable career possible.

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