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Alumna of the month - October 2009

Wendy Cunningham
BSc (Hons) in Advanced Nurse Practitioner (Primary Healthcare), 2005

Wendy Cunningham

Wendy gained a BSc 1st Class (HONS) in Advanced Nurse Practitioner (Primary Healthcare) at London South Bank University in 2005. Wendy has made notable achievements from her work with doctors in Sri Lanka to the pioneering introduction of a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) service at Luton Primary Care Trust.

Following successful completion of her course, Wendy undertook the role of Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) within various Primary Care settings.

Having worked within the NHS (primarily within Primary Care) since 1975, the course greatly enhanced my confidence and skills for clinical practice and the autonomous role.

Gaining experience as a Lead Nurse at the NHS London Walk in Centres (WICs), Wendy went on to join the Luton NHS WIC. There she helped pioneer a DVT Point of Care service and other innovative services in line with Health Needs Assessments for a culturally diverse and socially needy population. The centre is prominent in assessing and treating patients with minor illnesses and injury on a daily basis without the need for an appointment. This further enhanced patients’ access to support.

The focus of the service was to provide a Nurse-Led service, often completing episodes of care at the WIC. In addition the focus is also to; provide additional support to vulnerable people, prevent emergency admissions to hospitals and direct patients to the correct services, avoiding their need to attend the Accident and Emergency Department.

During her degree, Wendy spent some time working during her annual leave in Sri Lanka with displaced peoples in remote villages that had been affected by the civil war. Close to 300, 000 refugees where displaced and settled in camps during this war time period. This scene gave her special insight in to third world poverty and health care.

Though rewarding, Wendy had the challenging task of working alongside Doctors and translators in war torn areas jointly seeing up to 300 patients per morning.

Wendy further enhanced her role within Primary Care by studying two further courses at LSBU at Masters Level: Assessment and Management of Minor Illness in Children in Primary Care 2008 and The Post Graduate Certificate Non Medical Prescribing 2009.

After achieving so much Wendy later returned to General Practice where she now works part time as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

The skills acquired during my studies at LSBU have enabled me to work autonomously with patients and being able to complete episodes of care, enhances the patient journey and giving greater access to health care provision.

With such passion and determination to the field of healthcare, the wealth of knowledge gained by Wendy has been returned to LSBU.

In 2009, she commenced work at LSBU part time as a Nurse Mentor working with students undertaking the Advanced Nursing Practice programmes, and as a Senior Lecturer within the programme. The students have benefited from the experiences Wendy has gone through when completing the course. It has enabled her to support the students through their studies with a greater understanding and empathy.

Undertaking the courses have not only given me vital skills required for the clinical and academic roles, but has also enabled me to gain confidence voicing the needs of patients in the wider community when working with commissioners, patient and public forums and MPs!!