30 years, 30 stories: Sandy Walmsley

22nd June 2017

Education for Health is celebrating 30 years of improving the lives of people with long term conditions. We are marking this important milestone by sharing the stories of 30 people involved in our success, today it is the turn of Sandy Walmsley – former student, graduate, retired trainer and mum of a recent Education for Health graduate!

teaching“I first experienced “The Asthma Training Centre” in Stratford when I was a very new Practice Nurse… little did I know just how much of an impact it would have on me as a person as well as my career! I enjoyed the course so much that I was soon enrolled onto the very first COPD diploma course.

“It was during this course that I suddenly realised how powerful it was to have this knowledge and just how much it would benefit our patients! I had some very supportive GPs who supported me through the course and they freely admitted that they had learnt so much through supporting me.

“I had been inspired by the trainers who had delivered the asthma, paediatric asthma agraduationnd COPD diplomas and I just wanted to do the same. In 2005 I changed jobs and became the Lead Respiratory Nurse Specialist for my area, one of the first things I did was to negotiate with what was the PEC in those days that every practice should have a GP and a nurse trained in COPD as our local admission rates were phenomenal. I was successful in my bid and I commissioned and trained the courses to the GPs and Practice Nurses.

“Being a Trainer gave me the confidence to study for my MSc, something I never thought I would do as I certainly never considered myself to be an ‘academic’. I successfully completed this and this in turn gave me the confidence to challenge even more. It also gave me the confidence to apply for and be successful in becoming a Clinical Lead for the then Strategic Health Authority

Natasha, Sandy and Noah
Recent graduate Natasha with her new son Noah and mum, and star of this story, Sandy Walmsley

“I firmly believe that being a Trainer and being part of the Education for Health family has helped me to hopefully have been a positive influence and inspire other nurses as well as GPs. I have met many influential clinicians in the respiratory world and regard so many of them as good friends and this would never have happened had I not been part of this family!

“Finally, I had a really very proud moment this year when I saw not only my daughter but her very good friend graduate with their respiratory degrees from Education for Health and The Open University. I would like to think that I may have played some small part in ensuring that the passion for respiratory nursing lives on in the new generation of nurses.

“I am still passionate about respiratory nursing and always will be. I firmly believe that this is as a result of the excellent training we deliver at Education for Health and I am so very proud to have been part of the process.”

Sandy has been so involved with Education for Health in so many ways, here’s just a few of the ways you get involved like her: