“I have always liked a faster-paced work environment so the adrenalin of working in emergency care suits me to a tee.”

Claire Hey is an Assistant Matron in the Emergency Department at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital – one of the busiest in the North West. Starting her working life as a care assistant in a care home, her mum and sisters are nurses too, so clearly it’s always been in her blood!

She said:

I have worked at ELHT for 23 years now and I have seen a lot of changes - so you could say I am a veteran! 

Claire HeyI’ve only been an Assistant Matron since January so I am still finding my feet to see where I can make a difference and hopefully lead by example. 

I have always enjoyed helping people since I worked with my mum in a care home after school. I loved sitting with the residents chatting to them and doing their nails etc. Just spending that time with them made their day brighter which I thought was really special. 

When my mum qualified as a nurse, she encouraged me to apply for a job at the hospital as a Health Care Assistant. I was then seconded to do my nurse training in 2010 as one of the last groups to be able to qualify as part of a secondment. During my training I completed placements in various community and hospital settings, including A&E. 

The thing that gets me out of bed every day is making improvements to enable us to provide the best care possible for our patients. A particular example of this and one I am most proud of is ambulance handover times. Ambulance crews could often be waiting for up to four hours with a patient but now it is an average of eight minutes meaning the crews can be released sooner to help more people in need. 

It can be challenging working in ED as it’s busy and we see very sick people but it’s also extremely rewarding.

My mum now works as a Junior Sister and I also two sisters who are nurses, so ELHT literally is family for me!