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What is a typical day at work for you?

I do try to look at my e-mails first thing, though it is always necessary to look at them several more times during the day. After that it does depend upon whether I’m in class, because, if I am, I can’t really concentrate on anything else, the teaching becomes everything. If I’m not, then I usually have a number of appointments, mostly supervising students, but also with other key colleagues or partners. There is quite often a meeting to attend at some point, whether departmental or relating to another key area of my work, such as research or ethics.

What is your favourite part of your job?

I enjoy most aspects of teaching Learning Disability Nursing especially teaching and other aspects of work involving the students. Over the last few years I’ve been supervising students at Masters and PhD level, and the process of supervision I see as both challenging but extremely rewarding. Learning Disability Nursing is a very specialized area but we do occasionally get students working at the highest academic levels, and it’s great to supervise such individuals.

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?

I’m just beginning a really exciting piece of research with a colleague, who runs an organisation providing community support packages for people with learning disabilities and an offending background. I’ve worked with him previously and we’ve both presented and written together. The project, which has just successfully been subject to ethical review, involves interviews with a number of service users to determine how they have come into contact with secure learning disability services. I hope that we will find out something significant which we will then present at a conference and publish.

What has been your proudest moment whilst working at the University?

There are so few Learning Disability Nursing professors nationally, so it has to be my appointment as Professor of Learning Disabilities in 2012.

Can you think of one of your greatest student success stories?

I can think of many students who’ve gone on to do well in practice, some getting awards, and some getting higher qualifications. I can also think of one or two who struggled at first, because higher education wasn’t their natural environment, but they were really good with people with learning disabilities, slowly gained confidence and nursing skills, and became excellent nurses. If student success can be measured in how people go on to empower and promote the rights of people with learning disabilities, then I think we do well.

Can you summarise your ‘Chester story’?

I’ve spent most of my academic career at Chester and I believe in the ethos that we try to create – we have access to geographically diverse and clinically challenging environments, and focus on small-scale, locally produced excellence.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to swim and read, not at the same time though!

What is your favourite quote?

“Distrust all those in whom the urge to punish is strong” (Goethe)


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Getting to know Learning Disability Nursing Health and Social Care undergraduate