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Recognition for Wound Care Champion in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Jan 5, 2022 | News

A Clinical Lead on the National Wound Care Strategy Programme has been recognised for her work in wound care in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Jacqui Fletcher, who is also a Senior Clinical Advisor at NHS England and NHS Improvement, has been made an OBE and says she’s delighted that wound care is being recognised in the honour.
“It shows that it is an area that matters to people. There are lots of areas which get attention like cancer, working with children and working with mental health. Wounds is one of those things that people don’t really think about.

“You don’t ever see characters in TV dramas and soaps getting a pressure ulcer. They’re never stuck at home, lonely, with a wound dripping down their leg and they’re worried about the smell. You never see a wheelchair user stuck in bed for three weeks. It doesn’t get any profile, so anything which makes people think about wound care is really important.”

Jacqui’s career in nursing had begun as an eighteen-year-old working at Barts Health NHS trust. Jacqui worked under their Director of Nursing Pam Hibbs who wrote one of the first Pressure Ulcer prevention policies.

Jacqui said, “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at school and nursing was just one of those things that I liked the idea of. My careers teacher suggested I apply to one of the London Hospitals and I went to train at Barts. To work in such a fabulous hospital was an amazing experience.”

After the birth of Jacqui’s first son, she and her family relocated to Manchester. Jacqui said she was shocked at the difference in how things were at the new hospital, “In Barts, we had access to a range of mattresses and dressings for patients with pressure sores. In Manchester, we didn’t have those resources, so I wanted to do something about it. Wound care became a thing which I was interested in because patients didn’t have something which I was used to providing.”

Jacqui set up a wound care group at the hospital to look at improving care for patients, before moving to Halifax to take up a specialist nursing role. Those experiences set Jacqui onto a career in wound care, through education, working with regional health authorities and in consultancy roles. Jacqui is now the Clinical Lead for the Pressure Ulcer Workstream on the National Wound Care Strategy.

Director of the Strategy Programme, Una Adderley said, “We are all so delighted for Jacqui. This honour is testament to a career dedicated to Wound Care and recognises the significant role which Jacqui has played in pressure ulcers and ensuring that better patient care becomes a priority for all.”

When Jacqui first found out that she had been nominated for her OBE, she thought that the honour was for someone else, “I was stunned. I’ve been asked before to write pieces for people who have been nominated, so I knew a bit about the process. I got an email from the nominations office, and I wondered who I was being asked to write a letter for. I had to close the email and reopen it to check it wasn’t a joke. It was the most bizarre experience.”

Paying tribute to friends and colleagues, Jacqui said, “Who knew that doing the job you love could take you so far? I owe thanks to so many people for supporting me on my wound care journey.”