Zoë arrived as a Team Leader at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in 2022, joining from the District General Hospital where she worked as a Band 5 Nurse. This move marked her first team leader role, but it’s the passion of the place that really struck Zoe when she arrived.  

“Right from the outset it’s felt exciting to be part of this team. People say Bluebell Wood really gets under your skin and it’s true. The passion of the team and the belief in the work that we do is why people stay. It’s so rewarding to be part of. 

Zoë has been on a professional development journey since joining the team, which has grown significantly over the last year 

We’ve done amazing things, finding ways to be innovative and improve the way we run our services. 

“We are a fully established team with a real sense of togetherness. Everyone has come from different working backgrounds. I was originally a Neonatal Nurse but now get to work with children and young people too. We all bring different skills and experience to the role. The team culture means we all feel comfortable sharing our knowledge and that gives us a bank of expertise that we can tap into. The increasing size of the team also gives us the scope and capacity to deliver exceptional care.  

Zoë has continued to soak up the developmental culture of Bluebell Wood and take all the training opportunities available. 

We’re investing in members of staff and the hospice is upskilling us all. We all want the best out of the team so we can offer the best care.” 

In February 2023 I transitioned into the Clinical Nurse Specialist role which was very exciting. It’s something I've always wanted to do and these opportunities don’t come around very often. Bluebell Wood’s commitment to staff development is fantastic and has enabled me to do the assessment and prescribing courses. 

The opportunities don’t stop there. Zoë is currently finishing her non-medical prescribing course. From a nursing progression perspective, this is huge as it opens up a lot of career opportunities. It also benefits the families we care for, as I will be able to prescribe, assess and manage, providing all round holistic care without a break in service. 

“Through training like this we can manage the care of families directly and that’s quite a powerful thing for us as practitioners and for the families receiving that care. 

For Zoë she has found many opportunities that are quite specific to the hospice.  

“In hospice care, because we are a smaller team and specialise in a specific type of care, there are advantages here that aren’t always available in other places. Youre able to have a lot of autonomy, whether it’s working in hospitals, in the hospice, or out in the community. We have the chance to network and have created a wide base of colleagues that we work with across the whole region.” 

Zoë’s also been involved in the development of research papers produced in the hospice.  

We’re involved in research here which Michael, our Chief Nurse, is leading on and getting the chance to do this is something that is quite unique to here. It’s wonderful to have my name on a research paper. When you start out in your nursing career and you imagine some of the things you would like to be a part of, that’s really high up there.” 

Sometimes it’s just the little things that Zoë appreciates about working at Bluebell Wood.   

“You have the freedom to bring your own ideas to the table. Every day is very different. Your contribution is really valued. Also, you get to be outside, which is a huge thing for me. I have the freedom to take my meetings in Bluebell Wood’s gardens and enjoy the sunshine.” 

It has been an eventful two years and for Zoë this has been a hugely rewarding time  

“This role makes me feel very privileged. It is a real honour to be able to work with the families that we care for. They are extraordinarily brilliant and resilient people as are the team that I work with.” 

This is the perfect place for anyone who is open to a new challenge, new ideas and wants something different. Hospice life is not like any other type of nursing. You are able to take a pause and breathe all that in and that’s when you’ll truly appreciate what you can do here. You don’t need to have hospice experience; you just have to care about delivering really good holistic care to families.  

“If you feel like that’s something you’re missing in your current role, hospice life is where you’ll get that.” 

Zoë wants people to know that children’s hospices are full of professional opportunities and are also not what might think.  

“Every person who steps through the door says, I didn’t think it would be like this. There are sad elements, but the hospice is a happy place. This is a place full of love, joy, laughter, silliness and it’s an extraordinary place to be. Anyone who walks through the door will see that for themselves.”   

**Bluebell Wood is looking for more nurses to join the team. If you’re passionate about supporting babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions or want to know more about what it’s like working in our amazing care team, visit our job vacancies page.