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Matron Julie Corr has already packed so much into her nursing career and here she talks about her new role at the Northumbria Emergency Hospital.

Thursday, 10 December, 2020
Matron Julie Corr has already packed so much into her nursing career and here she talks about her new role at the Northumbria Emergency Hospital.

In the summer I swapped blue lights for a blue uniform when I joined Northumbria Healthcare from the North East Ambulance Service.


I was previously an Advanced Clinical Practitioner where I would respond on blue lights to both 999 and 111 calls. Upon arrival it could be anything from a sore throat to delivering a baby!


While it was primarily a blue light-based role, it was also about reducing hospital admissions by seeing patients who dialled 999, but didn’t really need to go into hospital.


I was based in the community and worked in the Covid hot hubs and also led on a GP home visiting service to see poorly patients at home including those with coronavirus.


I really got to use my clinical assessment and decision-making skills to see, treat and discharge my patients at home where possible. I have worked in hospitals before in senior nursing roles, which had given me lots of different experiences to draw upon.


I’m now Matron for Ambulatory Care and the Fracture Clinic which is a service that provides same day emergency care. The aim is to get patients back home in the same day following assessment and treatment from a skilled team of Drs, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses and Nursing assistants.


The types of conditions we may see include assessment for blood clots, palpitations, chest pain, low blood count and pneumonia to name just a few.


Funnily enough I always wanted to be in the police when I was little girl, but after a discussion with my Mam’s Friend who had been a Senior Sister for years it really inspired me to go into nursing- a career for life. I wanted to help people at their most vulnerable and that set me off on this journey.


I’ve worked in lots of different settings over the years which has helped me to develop leadership, managerial and advance nursing skills that I can hopefully bring into this role.


Based at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital our dedicated unit is for patients who would traditionally have to stay in hospital but can now access faster treatment and then go home on the same day.


We’re open 7 days a week from 8am-10pm with 43 treatment spaces and on average see more than 100 patients a day.


Covid has been a huge challenge with social distancing and PPE something really different for all of us – we’ve had to change so many things. This has included adapting our waiting area and even though we’re not a Covid area, it’s a very different way of working.


Wearing a mask for long periods is very challenging for our teams and we’ve worked really hard to keep up motivation and morale.


We’ve also had to change the way we see patients and they’re now streamed straight from the front door so we’re introducing a new triage system that helps us take observations within 30 minutes and see the sickest and most urgent cases first, in line with Standards for Ambulatory Care.


Communication and flow through the department is vital and it’s this brilliant team spirit that has kept us going. The ACU Staff really are fantastic and I’m very proud to be leading and working alongside such a brilliant team.