interviews

17.09.19

NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

Over 20 years ago, a Teesside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took steps towards her midwifery dreams.

Lisa Payne has been delivering babies at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust for 20 years, but that wasn’t where her career was originally heading.

Lisa worked as a domestic on the maternity ward in 1994 and it was here that she saw first-hand the hard work and tremendous rewards that came with bringing new life into the world.

She explained: “Back in 1999 I took a permanent role with the hospital as a domestic on the maternity ward. I spent time getting to know the staff, and it started to really interest me.”

Following a conversation with her then manager, she took the brave decision to enroll on to a level 2 NVQ in care and became a health care assistant on the ward she used to clean.

She quickly fell in love with learning and admitted “it had become addictive and I was so keen to learn more, I even took a qualification to become an assessor myself to support others studying.”

Around 10 years after she started cleaning on the ward, Lisa was ready to take the next big step. In 2004 she signed up to her ‘Access to Health’ course which provided the opportunity to apply for a place at the University of Teesside the following year for a degree in midwifery.

Not without its challenges, the university offer required minimum level 2 qualification In Maths, but by her own admission it had been a struggle for her at school. Not letting anything stop her, she said “after a lot of hard work, I finally achieved it.”

Her diligence saw her accepted through clearing a year early to complete her midwifery degree, a long-standing goal of hers. “When I was 17, I actually applied to be a midwife, but was told I was too young. At that time my family emigrated to Australia, so thoughts of delivering babies went out of my mind. When I think about the way it’s all worked out, I’m really proud.”

Now a wife and mother of three, Lisa credits her family, friends and colleagues for her success. “My children were very young when I started my learning, it was challenging at times but my husband was wonderful.”

Lisa’s incredible career has seen her work as part of a number of organisations across the region, but she returned to University Hospital of North Tees earlier this year, describing it as “coming home.”

Ward Manager at the Trust, Louise Wilkinson, commented: “Lisa is a real success story for what you can achieve once you commit to your ambitions. We determined that she has delivered over 340 babies across our region, impacting so many families at the very start of life. Her dedication has been inspiring, we hope her story might inspire others to choose midwifery as a career.”

 

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