NHS 75 Staff Stories: Isobel McDermott

Isobel McDermott - Immunisation Nurse Assessor

How long have you been in the NHS?

On May 1 2023, I celebrated my 45th anniversary as a nurse and midwife, which has mostly been spent working within the NHS. I was able to meet up with people who I had originally trained with as many of us keep in touch. I had two small breaks away from the NHS. One was when I was a midwife in Australia and the other was when I taught midwifery at Coventry University.

Why did you choose to work in the NHS?

I choose the NHS because it offers so many opportunities. Although I trained as a clinical midwife, I’ve also been a research midwife, a matron, held a role in clinical governance and I’ve taught too. It’s an organisation with lots of variety and opportunities to help staff develop.

I retired in 2020 but came back in 2021 because I felt it was important to be involved and help my hardworking colleagues within the NHS during the Covid pandemic. I already had the skills and knew I’d be able to join the team quickly. I worked on the bank for 2 years, but still enjoy it so much I now have a part-time contract.

Describe your role in 100 words.

I am part of the Covid-19 vaccination team, and we deliver the service in mass vaccination clinics, schools, we visit housebound patients, and attend pop-up clinics reaching harder to reach clients like the homeless and refugees. Last year I joined the team that vaccinates in mental health hospitals across Coventry and Warwickshire too.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

It has to be the variety of work and the all the people I meet that I enjoy most, both colleagues and patients. When I first started in the Covid-19 vaccine team, it included people who had been furloughed, which meant I met such a variety of people from chefs to cabin crew, as well as other NHS professionals – people I would never normally have worked with. I’ve also gone from one end of the age spectrum to another: babies in midwifery and often the elderly now which is a joy.

Describe your favourite memory of working at CWPT in 100 words.

My favourite CWPT memory is when I started my role in the Covid-19 vaccine team, because even though it was hard work, I knew how important it was to society at the time. Everyone was thankful and grateful for what we were doing. In the NHS generally, I feel very privileged to have been present for the 1000s of births as midwife – they were all very special memories for me.

Read more staff stories for NHS 75 and find our more about the Celebrations.