Helen

Helen
Heath Visitor

I’ve been in the NHS for 27 years!

I started my nurse training 27 years ago, it was quite different to how it is now. Before, it was more on the job rather than academic focussed. I trained as a general nurse and then went to work in a hospice for a couple of years.

I did my health visitor training 20 years ago. It was a university degree which took place over the course of 10 months and was quite intense. I’ve worked in this area of the community in Crawley for 20 years and I see people I used to visit when they were babies, now having children of their own! People still remember me, they say, ‘you were my health visitor 17 years ago!’  It’s so nice to see how things have changed!

I’ll be celebrating NHS 70 because it’s a national institution which is part of our cultural history and an envy of the world. As a service user and a nurse, the standard of care has been second to none. People are living longer and are healthier, so the progress that we’ve made is huge.

My family have supported me throughout my journey over the years. I did my Health Visitors degree when I was a single parent with two small children. It was hard work but I wouldn’t have been able to do that without my mum supporting me through.

The best thing about the job is just knowing that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life who’s going through a stressful time. I’ve worked on cases of domestic violence and bereaved families and it’s just about feeling the difference when you know you’ve helped someone through a really difficult time in their life.