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Senior Nurse Nikki retires after nearly 50-year service

Senior Specialist Nurse Nikki Day has retired after working in Rheumatology at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust for 32 years.

Nikki Day pictured in middle Nikki (pictured: centre) started her nursing career in 1974 working in orthopaedics, and moved to Plymouth to work with both orthopaedic and rheumatology patients at Mount Gould Hospital in 1979. She started working as a Team Leader for Rheumatology in 1989, where she remained as an inspirational manager and expert resource for patients with musculo-skeletal diseases.

“Nikki is a great fount of all knowledge,” said Kerry Smith, Service Line Manager for Rheumatology. “She’s always been really helpful to everyone and very willing to answer any questions I’ve had as I’ve gotten to know the department. She is going to be greatly missed.”

“Nikki has been a fantastic manager,” adds Sarah Harvey, Specialist Nurse. “She has mentored me over the last six years and helped me to progress to where I am today. She is going to be missed by colleagues and patients alike.”

Pauline Putt, Specialist Nurse, adds: “Nikki is an exceptional nurse, but I will always remember her for being an inspirational manager who brings out the best in her team.”

One of Nikki’s greatest achievements is her involvement in establishing a Direct Access service for rheumatology patients at University Hospitals Plymouth. Through the system, also known as patient-initiated follow-up (PIFU), patients with an appropriate long-term condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are given direct access to the specialist healthcare team, whereby patients initiate support and appointments, only if and when it is needed. This not only provides a safe and cost-effective alternative approach to routine hospital follow-up appointments, but it also presents a more person-centred approach to patient care.

Dr Mark Perry, Consultant Rheumatologist explains: “Nikki was instrumental in setting up the Direct Access service, and I am so grateful for the support she gave to it. We now have over 2,000 patients benefiting from this system, and its success is a fitting legacy of her commitment to her patients.”

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish Nikki a very happy retirement.

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