NHS Hero: SWBH a home away from home for devoted nurse and mum Hayley

2nd Aug 2019

Every week we look at a member of staff from Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust and how their efforts help patients as part of our NHS Heroes series. This week we focus on Senior Sister Hayley Barnes, who works hard to keep a balanced life between helping patients on the wards and life at home as a single mum.

As senior sister, the 34-year-old from Walsall takes care of ward management on Birmingham-based City Hospital’s D16 Ward, which looks after patients who need immediate care. Making sure everything is running smoothly for both those working and those being treated.

“It’s part of my job to keep everything balanced and maintain a good atmosphere for everyone,” she said. “Happy staff equals happy patients and vice-versa. Other than that it’s making sure the ward meets Trust targets – as well as budgets – and that overall, patients are treated with the highest quality and standards of care.”

Hayley started her career at the Trust in 2011 and has been there ever since, but for the first few years she was working to complete her student nurse training before moving on as a qualified Band 5 nurse.

“What they did for me, how they helped me get on the ladder and achieve my goals was amazing. They gained my loyalty in that time, it’s a loyalty returned. I believe this is the Trust to be in and I want to stay here for as long as I’m able.”

As we’ve come to expect with our NHS Heroes, Hayley’s typical day is one that is never typical.

“It can be distressing,” she cautioned. “Amazing, harrowing or at absolute peace. But each day brings a lesson we will all learn and remember in our career. There are great highs – patients who are so, so poorly, almost at the point of no return being helped to fight back. Seeing them go from a despairing situation through to being ready to be discharged home and continuing to be healthy after that? That’s amazing to me, to be a part of that journey.”

Outside of work whilst a trip to her siblings to be “distracted” by a delicious home cooked meal would be ideal, Hayley dedicates a lot of her time to supporting her 13-year-old son Riley who, she excitedly told us, had just taken his GCSE options.

Inside work however, Hayley has been involved in several work schemes and was one of those working behind the scenes when the Trust ‘declared war’ on Sepsis (Something that the Trust re-emphasised recently at its Annual General Meeting.) Hayley helped to set up the screening system on ward D21, which saw it go from 78 to 100 per cent clear in a matter of weeks.

It was during this she was once again reminded of those who go above and beyond. Although her own hero will always be her Mum: “She went through so much in her life and still managed to achieve so much,” explained Hayley. “I’ve always worked with people and wanted something more than just ‘a job’, I used to teach people about how to carry out job searches, fill out application forms and write a CV. This made me think about my own future. I wanted a career. I wanted to help people and make a difference – so nursing was my goal. I started a course – ‘Access to Nursing’ – at 27 and qualified at 30, but I felt the passion from the second I applied. It’s something you want to get out of bed in the morning to do, and I’m so grateful for that.”



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