2020 has been designated the ‘Year of the Nurse and the Midwife’ by the World Health Organisation.
As part of our year-long campaign featuring a series of interesting and inspiring stories, this month we talked to Alice Macleod who is a senior nurse leading on national procurement projects. Her job helps improve NSS, NHSScotland and therefore, patients' lives.
"As a senior nurse in National Procurement, I have a strategic role to influence clinical leadership and develop partnership projects which promote sustainable person-centred care by reducing waste and variation in key clinical products – specifically continence and stoma care products. This helps us to align to key national NHSScotland health policy documents like Clinical Strategy, Realistic Medicine, and Excellence in Care and Sustainability, allowing us to demonstrate clinical, financial and environmental benefit.
"I always wanted to be a nurse and started training at Glasgow Western Infirmary in February 1981 when nurse training was mainly delivered by the hospital school of nursing. Nurse training is now university-based, from degree level to PhD. There are great opportunities now to develop a clinical career from staff nurse to consultant nurse in a wide variety of areas from direct patient care to telehealth, develop an academic career in education and research or a management career to Executive Nurse Director Level.
"When I qualified, I initially worked as a theatre nurse before moving to a variety of cancer care areas – bone marrow transplant, oncology and palliative care. I’ve developed my career from staff nurse to advanced nurse practitioner, progressing my academic studies with a BA in Cancer Nursing and a Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice which has helped pave the way to where I am now.
"Nursing plays an important role in helping to improve clinical, environmental and financial sustainability, by using innovative approaches. Key projects I helped lead in improving Continence Care and Stoma Care are examples of effective partnership working with NHS Health Boards where we were able to drive and evidence this value in practice.
"The NHS has committed to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Waste and variation in clinical processes and product use, all contribute to our carbon footprint so there are lots of opportunities to improve our long-term impact on the environment, as well as on health.
"In National Procurement, we work with suppliers and health boards to champion and embed policies, such as sustainability, across the supply chain. This helps us to unleash more opportunities where products and services within best value national contracts can support NHS waste and carbon emission reduction targets.
"Over the years, nursing has given me the chance to take on different types of roles, from front-line nursing roles to national projects. I found my career in nursing really interesting and rewarding and I’d recommend it to everyone. NSS has a wide variety of nursing roles working in specialised services such as NP where you can have national impact on clinical care."