Julie Cairns is modern matron for adult medicine at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. She began her nursing career in 1986, joined the Foundation Trust in 1991 as a junior staff nurse on the haematology ward and took on her current role as modern matron in 2003.
Tell us about your role as modern matron.
The key focus of the modern matron role is to ensure all our patients receive quality care. I am passionate about the importance of high standards of care and ensuring that dignity and respect are at the core of all we do. This is particularly important in adult medicine where patients can be acutely unwell on admission. Feedback from patients and relatives is essential for us to be able to measure the care we provide. Whether this is positive feedback or the result of a concern or complaint, I welcome all comments from patients, relatives and carers about their experiences in adult medicine.
What does an average day entail?
I thoroughly enjoy my role as modern matron. There is no such thing as an average day. It is an extremely challenging role and no two days are ever the same. It is the variety that makes the job so enjoyable for me.
I complete a morning ward round in each of my clinical areas. The purpose of that is to check that the staffing skill mix reflects the patient’s needs, and then help the staff focus on discharges and how we can expedite any of these to create capacity for the acute admissions that need to come into the Foundation Trust.
What is your team like?
I over see 8 clinical areas and line manage 9 band 7 staff. This team is made up of ward managers plus clinical nurse specialists. I meet with them on a regular basis to discuss any issues that they may have. I find it very rewarding watching staff in post develop within their role and responsibilities which has a direct impact on the standard of the highest nursing care that we can deliver. I work with a fantastic team of people in the clinical areas that I oversee, and what they achieve on a daily basis is amazing. I am very fortunate to have a junior matron in post who oversees the medical assessment unit and we work in a close partnership.
Why do you think the Foundation Trust has such low rates of MRSA and other hospital acquired infections?
The Foundation Trust as a whole takes infection control very seriously and all staff are fully aware of what is expected from them. We have just opened an isolation ward based on E floor and we hope that it will help us to improve our already low rates of MRSA and other hospital acquired infections. This will become a centre of excellence; delivering gold standard of care for patients who require isolation.
What motivates you?
My motivation is simple - working with the head of nursing Helen Rush and the wider team of matrons within the Foundation Trust, we can make a real difference for the patients that are nursed within the clinical areas and also the staff that look after them.