NHS 75 Staff Stories: James Preston

James Preston

James Preston - Head of Nursing for LD/A inpatients

How long have you been in the NHS?

I became an HCA in 2000 and qualified in my nursing studies in 2005.

Why did you choose to work in the NHS?

I owe my career to one person: my mom. After my A-Levels, I didn’t know what I wanted to do at university, so I took a year off to think about my options. That year off turned into working in a pub and sleeping a lot! My mom had been working in Learning Disability Secure Services and I enjoyed hearing about her work. Mom became frustrated with my lack of direction, so told me to get a real job. I became an HCA and immediately loved working with offenders with Learning Disabilities.

Describe your role in 100 words.

As Head of Nursing for Inpatient Learning and Disability and Autism services I am part of the Safety and Quality Team. My role is to ensure that we have systems in place so that the services we provide to our patients are safe and of high quality. My role also oversees standards of professional practice for nurses and ensures nurses are supported to practice safely and effectively.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The thing I enjoy most about my role is the difference we can make in people’s lives. I’m proud to be a nurse and proud of the amazing colleagues past and present who work every day to support some of the most vulnerable in our society.

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

Recently, I was told by a colleague that they had been to visit a man whom I had spent 4 years doing 1:1 therapy with. He had spent many years in and out of prison and was felt to be very risky by a lot of people. It was great to hear that he is now living independently and is engaged to be married. He had told my colleague that he owed his new life to me and the work we had done (obviously there were many others that got him there, but it was good to know the impact our working together had on him).

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