Wendie Hill

Nominated for Healthcare & Nursing Assistant of the Year Award

Works at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

“I would like to nominate my outstanding colleague Wendie Hill, Specialist Nursery Nurse for Healthcare/Nursing Assistant of the Year. Wendie started at the Child Development Centre supporting families in 2001 and has seen a lot of change in that time, but throughout has had the best interests of the families she works with in mind.

Wendie works on the pre-school Autism pathway, supporting caregivers through a difficult and anxious time, using her calm demeanour and incredible empathy. Wendie is a very skilled and intuitive practitioner, who currently uses a play assessment to help her in her role. As you can imagine, some of these young children are very difficult to engage because of the nature of their difficulties. Wendie is able to adapt and change to suit the child needs, whilst making sure she gets the information we need to make a decision about a diagnosis.

Wendie has had to adapt her processes and be flexible using her skills during her time on the Autism assessment pathway driven by trying to improve efficiency. Moving from an in-house nursery assessment process, then to community assessment in homes and nurseries and then with COVID19 bringing children back into the Child Development Centre again. Her assessment and the information she gathers from nurseries and other agencies involved with the child is a critical part of the team’s decision making process. She has developed an invaluable information form which gathers the information the team needs from the nurseries.

I find Wendie a vital team member; she contributes well to the small team and always has helpful thoughts and reflections to make sure the team makes the right decision. She also supports Consultant’s to feedback the outcomes in a helpful and empathic way, always with an emphasis on a child’s strengths rather than what they cannot do. Wendie also takes an active role in supporting students and trainees to understand her role freely offering shadowing opportunities for them.

Wendie has done some amazing work during COVID19 to make sure we can still keep seeing the families for an assessment their child needs but in a safe way. She has adapted to a new video assessment process and strict infection control procedures and cleaning toys (of which she uses a lot). This is a challenge when you are crawling around the floor trying to engage young, very difficult to engage children in PPE.

Despite being experienced, Wendie is always keen to reflect and learn from others in their specialisms leading to helpful clinical discussions.

Wendie also supports coordinates a monthly group for pre-school children with Downs Syndrome. She coordinates the professionals to attend so families can link in if they have any concerns about their development. She leads the play sessions and enables families to develop support from each other.

Wendie has a passion in working with children and this shines though in every interaction I have seen her have with a child. I am also struck by her drive to make sure we are getting things right, challenging things when they are not ok and her overall commitment to the role. She is also very unassuming and is not always aware of how important she is to the team. I think she is an exceptional and worthy winner, highlighting a slightly different but still important role within this category.”

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