Louisa Adams

Matron for Theatres

A busy NHS theatres department needs someone able to react, adapt and roll with whatever the day brings – because it could be absolutely anything. For Louisa Adams, Matron of Theatres at Sandwell Hospital, that also includes making sure both patients and staff are getting the best support they can.

The 43-year-old from Halesowen joined the NHS in 2004 and is celebrating her fifteenth year working in the health service. She spends her time looking to improve the service Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust offers its’ patients, whilst at the same time helping to make the working environment for staff the best it can be. But how she actually found her way into joining the NHS was something of an accident.

“I originally studied American Studies at University with a thought to lecturing,” said Louisa – who noted she could’ve even ended up a primary school teacher if the dice had landed differently.

“I then decided to join the police as a graduate, and whilst waiting for my interview I secured work in a private hospital as a theatres assistant. I quickly realised how much I enjoyed providing care for patients within that environment. So, I applied for operating department practitioner training and progressed from there.”

Louisa is responsible for the safe and effective delivery of patient care within the operating theatre, which includes ensuring standards are set and adhered too, helping to manage staff, and activity within the department budget, leading on clinical risk and health and safety as well as day-to-day management within the operating areas.

“Is there a typical shift?” She smiled, when discussing where a work day can lead. “Every day is different and busy. I can move from managing incidents, to supporting staff, reviewing equipment to see where we can make procurement savings, to reviewing policies to then planning recruitment events.”

It’s a fast moving role, and Louisa herself is pretty driven – managing to move up from a band 7 to a band 8A within a three month window – something she classes as a real career highlight.

“It was a rapid learning curve,” she noted. “This was on a secondment for two-and-a-half years; I then was successful in obtaining my substantive 8A position. As well as attaining my Masters in Healthcare Leadership through the NHS Leadership Academy whilst working full time.”

When not at work, Louisa enjoys spending time with her partner and children, reading, working out, cooking and enjoying time by the sea whenever she can.

Throughout everything, Louisa strives to make things better and more positive, citing Barack Obama’s example in life: “He has a desire to always do the right thing and help those in need.”