A photo of Desi Gillespie, First Contact Practitioner / AHP Ambassador
Written by Ali Ayliffe-Jessup, 29/01/2024 

What are your roles outside the ARRS Ambassador position? 

I work as a Nursing Associate in a busy General Practice. I work as part of a friendly and supportive nursing team undertaking a variety of clinics including long term and chronic disease reviews, pathology sample processing, vaccination programmes and routine immunisations, wound care and dressings, electrocardiogram clinics, lifestyle and prediabetes clinics as well as supporting Practice Nurses and General Practitioners with contraception, minor operations and childhood immunisation clinics. I love my role and I am keen to further my nursing career. 

Why did you want to take on the role of ARRS Ambassador? How will you be a good advocate for your role? 

I was keen to be an ARRS ambassador to promote and celebrate the Nursing Associate role in Primary Care and to ensure that there is clarity regarding scope of practice in Primary Care settings. I aim to support other Nursing Associates to define their role in Primary Care and enable them to continue their learning journey. 

What are the top three things you would like to achieve as part of the ARRS Ambassadors team? 

To encourage Primary Care managers to take on Nursing Associates for placements in Primary Care to enhance future workforces. 
To standardise the Nursing Associate role across Primary Care settings. 
To celebrate successes with fellow Nursing Associates and encourage them to continue their careers in nursing. 

What are your initial aims and plans to connect your role peers across the whole of Nottingham and Notts to develop a community of practice? How can they get in touch to join this network? 

My aim is to widen and strengthen the Nursing Associate network and to find out how we can work together to promote the role, share challenges and successes and consider new and innovative ways of working in Primary Care. 
My contact email is alison.ayliffe-jessup@nhs.net 

How would you like to engage and collaborate with PCN/Practice management teams to support the ARRS workforce? 

I look forward to working with PCN and Practice managers to clarify expectations of the Student and Qualified Nursing Associate role and to encourage them to consider the benefits of ‘growing their own’ skilled workforce tailored to population needs. 

What do you like to do in your free time? 

Myself and my partner have four teenagers between us to keep us busy! I am very active and love walking, running and circuits classes. I love spending time catching up with friends and family and my two cats! 

Favourite holiday destination you would recommend? 

My perfect holiday destination would have to be Lagos in Portugal. My cousin and her husband have a beautiful apartment on the marina there and it is a perfect spot for a fortnight away with the teenagers! 

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you choose and why? 

If I was an animal it would have to be a cat. I need to find out where my two go when they go roaming and if they truly understand me when I speak to them! 

Any recent films or TV shows you have watched that you would recommend? 

Normal People on BBC iplayer …it is the only drama based on a book that I wasn’t disappointed with! 

What are you looking forward to most over the next six months of the project? 

I am looking forward to working with new colleagues and new teams and having fresh challenges to overcome. 

Learn more about Ali, her workstreams and NATH... 

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