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“It is where I belong” – Meg shares her story this International Nurses’ Day

Photograph of Meg, blue background with white crosses scattered, 'International Nurses Day', NELFT logos

This International Nurses’ Day, NELFT is sharing stories from the nurses who spend every day in the community supporting and helping patients.

Meg Kitley works for Thurrock Integrated Community Team within the Mid and South Essex Community Collaborative (MSECC), which delivers nursing care to patients who are unable to leave their home. To find out more about the MSECC, visit: Mid and South Essex Community Collaborative (MSE) | NELFT NHS Foundation Trust

Meg has been in nursing for ten years, and she has always been driven in her ambition of looking after people.  She leads a team of nurses and health care assistants providing care to housebound patients including wound care and management, and end of life care.

Meg explains: “I love the feeling of doing something for someone and making a difference in people’s lives. I really found my passion and my place in nursing, within the community. It is where I belong.”

Community nurses look after patients who need management with leg ulcers, trauma and chronic wounds and they aim to prevent hospitalisations: “we try to keep patients out of hospital by putting measures in place and being more proactive. We don’t want someone getting into a crisis and there are simple ways to help them, making sure they have the right medication, equipment, and paperwork to keep them at home and not in hospital.”

The team also attend to palliative and end of life patients, who have decided that they would like to be looked after at home. The nurses visit as required and are available around the clock, every day of the year.

During the pandemic, Meg worked at Brentwood Community Hospital while studying for a postgraduate course in district nursing. She took on additional bank shifts at the hospital at the Covid wards, “because it felt good to do my bit.”

The work of a nurse in the community can be very demanding and complex, but despite the challenges they face, the teams celebrate successes as much as possible to help keep them motivated.

Meg shares: “We try and share compliments. If we receive a compliment from a patient, we will read it out in the team meeting and make sure the person has read it themselves, and make sure their supervisor hears about it. We really try and commend the good work that the team does.”

Internal wellbeing support from the Trust has also play its part in helping staff through difficulties they may face. At NELFT we have in place the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which offers staff confidential and independent advice on a range of emotional and social issues that care arise.

Meg explains: “The Employee Assistance Programme is really useful. I’ve been recommending it a lot, and people are coming back with positive feedback about the counselling and financial advice on offer. It is a big support, and we are lucky to have that. The Just and Compassionate Culture programme has introduced a new more supportive way of learning.”

Making a difference in people's lives is at the core of the work Meg’s colleagues do in the community, she goes on to say:

“Our nurses are brilliant, they show up, they do an amazing job, and they find positives even on the worst of days.”

The Mid and South Essex Community Collaborative is a partnership of three organisations who deliver community services:

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT)

North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT)

Provide Community Interest Company (Provide CIC)


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