My job

‘Taking nursing to another level’

After an outstanding career in the NHS, Kim Badcock is as excited by nursing as ever

Kim Badcock, last year’s winner of the Queen’s Nursing Institute’s, The Queen Mother Award for Outstanding Service, shares her experience after 41 years in the NHS


Kim Badcock: 'This past year has been incredible'

What is your job?

I have just retired from my role as nurse practitioner after 41 years in the NHS. Now, as a dementia adviser, I work with the NHS, voluntary agencies and the community. We aim to maximise the annual dementia review by creating a robust care plan and having voluntary agencies on site to provide additional information and support.

Where did you train?

I always wanted to be a nurse. I qualified as a state registered nurse in Victoria Hospital, Blackpool in 1980, and went on to become a state certified midwife at St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth. In 1989 I started working as a practice nurse at the Denmead Practice in Hampshire and I knew that this was a role I wanted to stay with and develop.

I value the structured and practical training I received, and it provided a great base on which to build. In 2004 I was offered the chance to do a nurse practitioner BScHons degree at Bournemouth University and become an independent nurse prescriber. Nursing nowadays is so diverse with amazing opportunities to develop new roles and ways of working, but it is so important that the basics are established from which to build.

What is your greatest challenge?

I was the first nurse practitioner in our surgery and establishing the role has been my greatest achievement and challenge. Taking nursing to another level and completing episodes of care is satisfying and appreciated by patients. However, the nurse practitioner role also provided some insight into areas of care that were not addressed by practice nurses or GPs. Having the opportunity to make a difference to the care of patients with dementia and those with learning disabilities has been truly rewarding and reflects the forward-thinking attitude of the team I work with.

What or who inspires you and why?

Working with patients with learning disabilities has been a privilege. Their positive attitude to life and the pleasure they derive from simple things is inspiring and heart-warming. They have taught me so much. Likewise, I have been inspired by patients and their families who are living with dementia. The dementia care pathway is complex and inconsistent, and I have been inspired by the way families and individuals have found ways of coping and leading a different life to the one they expected, which is still fulfilling and filled with love and happiness.

What makes a good primary care nurse?

You need a strong sense of community as well as the ability to work autonomously.

What is likely to affect nurses working in primary care over the next 12 months?

Primary care nurses are in a strong position to help develop the new models of care being developed to promote sustainability in general practice. It’s an exciting time and nurses need to find their voice to ensure new models of care provide quality improvements and not just changes to make financial savings.

How does it feel to have been recognised by the Queen’s Nursing Institute?

I was extremely proud to become a Queen’s Nurse in 2012 and it also strengthened my resolve to continue to strive for improvement in community nursing. I was shocked when I received a letter this year to say I had been nominated and awarded the Queen Mother Award for Outstanding Service by the QNI. I was also nominated by colleagues to attend the NHS 70th birthday celebrations at Westminster Abbey in 2018. This past year has been incredible.

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