Poppy Nursing boss champions role played by nurses and care staff

(Left to right) Claire Woodman and Kelly Anne Byres Picture: Stephen Waller

(Left to right) Claire Woodman and Kelly Anne Byres Picture: Stephen Waller - Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller

It comes as no surprise that managing director of Future 50 business Poppy Nursing, Claire Woodman, is a champion for nurses and the role they perform in the community.

The team at Poppy Nursing Picture: Stephen Waller

The team at Poppy Nursing Picture: Stephen Waller - Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller

The agency she launched in 2014 along with finance director Kelly-Anne Byres supplies nurses and carers to hospital trusts and care homes across the East Anglian region, and has won a number of awards for the quality of its service.

But prior to this Ms Woodman was a nurse herself and has more than a decade of experience across health and social care where she held managerial roles within the NHS and developmental roles at care homes.

With such an impressive CV, Ms Woodman is well placed to comment on the state of the nursing sector, an industry she feels is currently struggling with low pay and a sense of being undervalued.

“Morale is low,” she said. “The mainstream media often portrays the downsides of the NHS, such as patients being left on trolleys in corridors, but very seldom reports on all the great things nurses do, day in, day out. They don’t get enough recognition.”

Couple this with dwindling pay and the outlook is currently bleak for the nursing sector.

Industry publication Nursing Standard recently reported that some nurses were leaving to work in supermarkets because of low pay while the abolition of bursaries for student nurses in England, who from November will have to take out student loans to cover tuition fees, is expected to impact the number of young people coming into nursing.

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This means there is increasing demand for agency staff to fill to the gaps but Ms Woodman says she is determined to ensure they still maintain the quality of the personnel they provide.

“We don’t take on anyone who we haven’t vetted and who we wouldn’t trust with our own family. Often nurses come to us because they have heard good things from other colleagues,” continued Ms Woodman who says the business does all it can to look after its people, including rewarding them with family days out and bonuses if they perform well or take a shift at short notice.

“If a banker can get a bonus, then a nurse definately can,” she added.