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70 for 70

Una Hobson

“It’s a really exciting time to work in the NHS, social media is such a powerful tool, and there is an emergence of strong inspirational role models for nursing.”

Una Hobson was just 14 years old when she volunteered to work in a home in Ireland for children with complex needs. It changed her life forever.

Those few days cemented a love for and dedication to the NHS that has spanned more than three decades.

“I just loved it. And even at that age I knew that was what I wanted to do. I can truthfully say, I’ve never looked back. I just could not imagine working anywhere else. It’s all I have known and I feel hugely proud to work in the NHS -  it really is something quite unique and wonderful and we need to protect and grow it,” says Una.

A specialist Learning Disabilities nurse, Una has spent much of her career caring for children and young people with some of the most complex mental health needs.

She’s now training the next generation of Learning disability and mental health nurses.

Asked what she most loves about her job, Una says:  “I get to spend time with people who use our service and that is a huge part of why I love my job.  The teams I work with are also just brilliant; there is a real energy to make the care we offer better.”

Looking back over a career of 34 years, Una’s seen so much change.

“When I think back 34 years and the wave of change that I have seen, particularly around people with learning disabilities living in 30 bedded wards in old institutions, ward stock clothing and little contact with family, I often wonder what future care will look like.  

“It’s a really exciting time to work in the NHS, social media is such a powerful tool, and there is an emergence of strong inspirational role models for nursing.”

Una’s new role at Sussex Partnership now sees her develop and support new nurses early on in their career to achieve their potential.

She’s been involved in developing a new training package for newly qualified nursing students and a Preceptorship Academy for the organisation.

“I am really delighted to be part of the Preceptorship Academy. The Trust is very committed to supporting newly qualified nurses to get the best possible support to learn and grow during the first year of qualification – which can be a daunting time.  The programme runs over the  year and has a series of 14 study days with reflective practice groups as well as a handbook with competencies.  The Preceptorship Academy is a great opportunity to map out continued professional development and time to consider how you want to progress your career as a nurse, a place to reflect and develop your identify as a nurse."