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Congratulations to Ruth Hamlin for winning Best Newcomer at the Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist Awards in 2017.

Ruth joined the Trust’s Parkinson’s team as a specialist nurse in April 2017, having previously worked as a hospital ward nurse in Bath looking after people with the disease.

Two months into her new role, Ruth found herself working on her own due to vacancies and sick leave within the team. She says “It was a huge challenge and I’ve had to learn quickly. I had only been in post eight weeks when I started working alone, and was very mindful of that when speaking with patients, relatives and carers. Luckily I have had a considerable amount of community nursing experience in my career and that has stood me in good stead.”

Despite the challenge, Ruth felt very supported by her team. “The advice from my colleagues has been invaluable and Marie Scheidel, team administrator, has kept me sane by taking charge of the administrative tasks.”

The awards are voted for by members of the Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist Association (PDNSA), who recognised Ruth’s level of responsibility so early on in the role, and her commitment to providing excellent patient care.

“To be voted best newcomer by the Association is a huge honour and I was delighted to think that people voted for me.”

Ruth commutes to Gloucester from Bristol for work, and is often asked why she chooses to travel two hours a day. The answer, she says, is simple – “I just really wanted the job and I decided that it was worth the extra time it adds on to my working day.”

The Trust’s Parkinson’s team is made up of nurse specialists who provide clinical reviews, support and education for patients and their carers, and run a number of clinics across the county.


4 January 2018