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Meet our new chief nurse - Yvonne Blücher

06 November 2015

Health Care

Having been nicknamed “matron” by her father at the age of nine it was a sure bet that Yvonne Blücher was heading for a caring career.

Our new chief nurse is still affectionately known by that childhood nickname to her family: "They joke that I walk and talk like a matron," Yvonne explains, "but I just have a passion for doing the right thing.

"I like to work hard but I also like to have fun. I have high expectations of myself and others. I like to keep things simple but at the same time I encourage people not to just accept data but to go and see for themselves."

Going to see for herself is something Yvonne, who has joined Southend from Barts where she was deputy director of nursing for quality and improvement, is committed to doing.

"My aim is, as a minimum, to be out and about in uniform at least once a week.

I know that by engaging staff you get better outcomes for patients so I want to get out and meet people and work together."

It was as a teenage basketball player that Yvonne first considered the caring professions and explored working in rehab for disabled sports people.

She was advised to do her nurse training first and began her career at Basildon, before later specialising in cardiac care, which took her north to Barnsley where she was instrumental in setting up first aid centres in the pit mines with defibrillators.

Yvonne was later to work in the USA and New Zealand as well as the Department of Health on the Essence of Care standards.

She spent ten years as a director of nursing at Princess Alexander Hospital before joining Barts following the merger that saw it become one of the biggest trusts in the country.

Yvonne, who lives in Ramsden Heath with her husband, two daughters and a dog, is also fellow of the Institute of Health Improvement and is committed to "do the right thing first time and every time."

One of her first tasks as chief nurse at Southend will be to assist in preparing for our forthcoming CQC inspection: "This is a chance to shine and share as much as if it is an inspection," Yvonne explains, "it is about doing the right thing which I know a lot of staff here are passionate about too."

In what precious free time she has Yvonne still manages to coach a children's basketball team and enjoys walking.

She adds: "I am really excited to be here at Southend and am trying to get to meet as many people as I can in these first few weeks."