She's a rising star...... after 41 years in the NHS! Really??

(Pictures...Our Carole then and now and more about that hat below and how slippery paint kept boyfriends at bay!!)


She’s won some titles in her 41-year career of nursing so “Rising Star”, it’s fair to say, caught our Carole Hallam, by surprise. 


However, all her work in the area of better cannula care and vessel health and preservation has led to yet another final – the British Journal of Nursing awards next month.


Carole and nurse colleagues Helen Dunn  (Great Ormond Street Hospital ) and Val Weston (St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust) met up through the Infection Prevention Society and are newcomers to this area of medicine hence the category of rising star. They are one of three finalists in the Rising Star in IV Therapy.


Carole, pictured at work in the attachments, said:  “I feel absolutely honoured to have been nominated. We are up against some real experts. We aren’t expert but we are passionate about getting it right for our patients so they have a better experience. That has been our driver and to be recognised in this way is an enormous honour.”


The team have brought over guidelines from the USA and made them simpler and adapted them for the UK healthcare system.


Carole adds: “We want better decisions to be made about which IV device might be best for a patient. A cannula might not always be best. It usually is but not always is. It depends on factors such as the quality of veins, the duration of the treatment and the types of drugs involved.”


A pilot of the guidelines is underway here at CHFT and depending on the results a national roll-out could follow.


** The finals are in London on Friday March 10. For a full list of all the categories and finalists click here


Our main photo shows her, right as a Student Nurse at Leeds GI and when she joined HRI and below there's some brilliant reminiscenses about those early days of nursing. Carole remembers:


  • The comedy  cloth hats were starched linen and came flat like a teatowel. They had to be folded and pinned and, Carole recalls,  "woe betide you if it fell off!" All the hair had to be above the collar so ponytails had to be up and under the hat."
  • In class in their uniforms they had to sit alphabetically
  • A sister manned reception at the nurses' residence 24 hours a day and they had to be in by 11 pm with a strict no-boyfriends allowed in policy. Carole recalls: "They told us the drainpipes had slippery paint on them so they couldn't try to climb up and down ".
  • On arrival with her bags on her first day as a student  - accompanied by her boyfriend - the sister told Carole she had to choose over nursing or "all that malarkey". Carole did both.... and went on to marry him and they celebrate their 39th anniverary this year!