Spotlight on Louise Williamson, Nurse, Colney Centre
Louise joined our hospital as an Assistant Practitioner in 2009.
10 years later she started to train as a Nurse. Shortly after starting her training, she realised she was struggling to hear and after a hearing check, she was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears and was fitted with hearing aids.
During this time, she took a break from her studies to enable her to adapt to her new diagnosis.
Two years ago, Louise went for another scan: a serious brain aneurysm was found and Louise had to start treatment.
Despite all the challenges, Louise remained determined to become a Nurse – she re-joined university and graduated with first class honours in February.
“At some points I absolutely felt I would give up, but I realised I had to be secure in what my focus was and what I wanted,” said Louise.
“I learned that speaking up about what I was experiencing was crucial to seek the support that was available to help me at work.
“My team were supportive in offering a phased return to work as well as counselling that helped me with my recovery.”
Since achieving her nursing qualification, Louise was invited to join the NHS Big Tea event and shared her positive experience working here with NHS England’s Chief People Officer Em Wilkinson-Brice.
Louise has since joined the Diverse Ability Staff Network to help identify how to improve the experience at work of colleagues with disabilities.
The Diverse Ability Staff Network have recently supported the development of our Health & Wellbeing Passport that is designed for colleagues with long term health conditions to enable them to have open and honest conversations with their line manager.
It allows colleagues to easily record information about their health, any reasonable adjustments they may have in place and any difficulties they face.