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Katharine Whittingham

Lecturer in Community Nursing and Clinical Skills, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

I qualified as a RGN in 1988. I have worked in various specialist areas of nursing including oncology, haematology, acute medicine and palliative care. Throughout all my staff nurse experience my responsibilities have included assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating patient care; regularly managing the ward and allocating staff; acting as mentor and trainer to newly qualified staff; ensuring I practiced evidence based care by keeping up to date with hospital policies and procedures and national guidelines; working with the broader multi-professional team.

In 1990 I was successful in gaining a post as a night sister on an acute medical ward at Derby City Hospital. My responsibilities included coordinating care for patients with respiratory and cardiac conditions; allocating staff throughout the hospital; attending medical emergencies as required; teaching and assessing students and newly qualified staff allocated to the ward. This post created the opportunity for further development of clinical leadership skills.

Between 1994 and 2003 I worked as a Health Promotion Specialist. The role is underpinned by national policies relating to health inequalities and prevention of ill health. I was expected to work strategically in order to influence policy development in Nottingham as well as implementing and evaluating specific projects.

I have had varied experience in developing, planning and delivering training to multi-agency groups including pre and post registered nurses . Examples of this include:

  • Helping People Change
  • Health Promotion Foundation Course
  • Drugs awareness

In June 2004 I was appointed as a Cancer Support Nurse in the Clifton Supportive and Palliative Care Project. The role required the case management of patients with non- curative cancer to develop programmes of care to support patients from point of diagnosis to end of life. The post utilised a multi professional approach to patient care and worked in partnership with patients, carers, GPs, district nursing teams, Macmillan nurses, specialists nurses, secondary care teams, social services and arrange of voluntary organisations.

At the end of the project's funding I took up a post as a Community Matron to build upon my case management skills. I worked with patients living with complex long - term conditions. The role involved proactive case management utilising advanced nurse practitioner skills to support patient choice and reduce the rate of unplanned hospital admissions. The majority of patients in the case - load had heart failure and through the management of these patients I gained an in depth knowledge into the complex clinical and psychosocial issues facing this client group.

In April 2006 I was appointed as a BHF Heart Failure Nurse working within Nottingham City PCT. Key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Support and education of patients/carers in recognising clinical symptoms that indicate decompensation
  • Monitoring of clinical and psychosocial needs throughout disease trajectory
  • Development of management plans in conjunction with primary and secondary care to optimise treatment in partnership with patient/carers
  • Orchestrate packages of care in partnership with social services/welfare benefits service/voluntary sector to meet social care needs of patients/carer
  • Liaise with Heart Failure Specialist Nurse in secondary care to provide effective communication pathway throughout the disease trajectory
  • Facilitation of 'Preferred Place of Care' choices and 'Liverpool Care Pathway' in relation to end of life issues
  • Service development in conjunction with multi professional team including EMAS, pharmacy, GPs, District Nursing Service, Social Services, Secondary Care providers
  • Managing change in relation to role reconfiguration
  • Training health professionals and pre and post registered nurses in best practice relating to heart failure management
  • As an advanced nurse practitioner I am up to date with current national and local initiatives relating to CHD and Heart Failure and influence the implementation of these locally
  • Supporting pre registration student nurses during clinical placement with heart failure team

Expertise Summary

  • Experience of promoting of an integrated approach to case management and the management of long term conditions
  • Specialist Heart failure Nurse expertise in developing clinical guidelines, clinical assessment and prescribing evidence based medication
  • Palliative care guidance relating to management of end stage heart failure
  • Physical and psychosocial needs of carers for patients with heart failure
  • Wide range of experience of working a health care community based settings both in preventive interventions and proactive management of long term conditions

Teaching Summary

Nursing Care Delivery and Management Adult Branch Clinical Skills Teaching across Pre registration and Masters programmes LBR teaching as follows: Cardiac Module, Consultation Module, Long… read more

Research Summary

I am currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Sheffield. The focus of the research study for the PhD is the experience of unpaid carers of patients with end stage heart failure. I am… read more

Recent Publications

  • Coordination ( with colleague ) of Gedling PLT
  • BHF Heart Failure sponsorship
  • Attendance at national BHF conference annually
  • Attendance at Specialist Heart Failure Nurse Forums quarterly
  • Maintain clinical expertise in the management of Heart Failure patients through honorary contact with Community based Trust
  • Selections days for School of Health Sciences
  • Placement audits
  • Support coordination of widening participation events e.g. Taster days, School and College promotional events
  • Represent School on NUH Clinical procedures meetings quarterly
  • Nursing Care Delivery and Management Adult Branch
  • Clinical Skills Teaching across Pre registration and Masters programmes
  • LBR teaching as follows: Cardiac Module, Consultation Module, Long Term Conditions Module
  • Dissertation supervision - EBP 2 and LBR
  • Expertise in the area of the nursing management of heart failure and the palliative care needs of heart failure patients

Current Research

I am currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Sheffield. The focus of the research study for the PhD is the experience of unpaid carers of patients with end stage heart failure. I am particularly interested in strategies to support carer and am developing a crisis response plan in partnership with the End of Life Specialist Nurse and the Heart Failure Specialist Nurse Service in Cithealth.

The study will utilizes a mixed methodology to collate data relating to numbers of crisis response plans issued and service instigated followed by prospective IPA interviews to explore the carers lived experience.

Past Research

I have conducted an evaluation of support provided to carers by a Community based Heart Failure Specialist Nurse which has recently been published in the British Journal of Nursing (see publications).

School of Health Sciences

B Floor, South Block Link
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 823 0850
email: shs-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk