Meet Lyndsey: Registered Nurse

In 2020, Lyndsey Bibby received the “Rising Star” Award at the Nursing Times Awards for her work in developing and supporting a Haemodialysis programme for patients with kidney disease. She has a background in specialist renal nursing and joined Spectrum in 2019.

Lyndsey gives us the low down on life at Spectrum and what it’s really like to work as a registered nurse in the prison service.

 

What made you apply for your original role at Spectrum?

I’d worked for 14 years in renal as a haemodialysis nurse and I’d gone as far as I wanted to go with that, I’d enjoyed it. I knew I fancied a change but didn’t particularly want to work in a hospital on the wards, I was always more clinical so I didn’t want to go into a non-clinical role. It interested me because there is so much diversity in the role, so many aspects in it, you’re not just doing one thing. We provide so many services to the patients we look after. That’s what motivated me to apply. When I first started it was all completely different and I wasn’t sure, but now I absolutely love it.

How does working in a prison differ from working in a GP practice or a hospital?

You have to adhere to all the prison rules, but it’s more rewarding in the sense that the clients are people who have often been overlooked for some things, and when they come to prison we are able to see them through with some of the treatments we provide for them. We’re able to do a good job for them and then when they do get released they are a lot healthier.

Why did you develop the haemodialysis project?

I realised that there was a gap in care – we didn’t have dialysis facilities on-site and there was a need for it. Instead, patients were going to community hospitals for frequent appointments (escorted by prison staff) and they didn’t have continuity of care. I could see the advantages of providing care on-site and I was already trained in using dialysis equipment, so I built on my contacts in the community and worked with the prison to see if we could get the project off the ground. I’m really proud of it – a true team effort.

What do you think are some of the misconceptions associated with working in secure environments?

People are often shocked to hear that you are a prison nurse, but then I tell them about the variety of thigs we do – emergency response, leg dressing clinics, vaccination clinics, inpatient wards. People are always impressed to hear about how much we do. People like student nurses don’t often realise how much they can learn with a job like this because it’s not talked about enough. It’s fulfilling and rewarding work.

What has been the highlight of your career at Spectrum so far?

My promotion has been a highlight, as was winning two Nursing Times awards last year for the involvement in the dialysis project – I won Rising Star and the whole team won the award for managing long-term conditions. I didn’t know I was being nominated for it, and getting the news of being selected for the final was exciting. I was over the moon when I won for both categories, I think I cried!

How excited are you about the future of Spectrum and its place in the health sector?

Spectrum is growing all the time and you can tell by the things they put in place that it’s a company that cares. I know it will be here for a long time to come.