12 May 2020

Beverley Harniman.JPGThis is the first job in which Beverley Harniman, Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist for Hackney’s drug and alcohol service – the Hackney Recovery Service – has worked north of the river.

It’s also farewell to Beverley, who retired on 31 March but who returned to work part time on the Staff Bank for the past few weeks to help out with the pressure caused through Covid-19.

On 1 June, she leaves CNWL for the very last time to start a new job.

In the past year, she’s made valuable connections with the hospital liaison team and improved the alcohol pathway.

For her this has been a dream job, allowing her to continue working in addictions, while driving up standards and introducing best practice within the team.

She’s worked in the Bethlem Royal Hospital as a Staff Nurse in their Drug Dependence Unit, when it existed, in Outreach for a street agency, in GP Shared Care in a Southwark practice and then a Richmond practice and then led the drug and alcohol liaison team at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

This is the first time she’s worked for a community drug and alcohol team.

“Working in addictions is something I always wanted to do. It was something that interested me from day one. I did placements as a student and a couple of years after qualifying I went into addictions and have stayed within the field ever since,” she says.

Hackney Recovery Service is a fully integrated, recovery-focused service delivered by WDP in partnership with CNWL and the homelessness charity, St Mungo's.

One of Beverley’s main roles is as an NMP – Non Medical Prescriber – for the service. She became an NMP in 2005 and was one of the first two nurse prescribers in the country.

Many clients are homeless and often have both physical and mental health issues. There are also high levels of opiate and alcohol misuse. This makes for a challenging role; she signs 100s of prescriptions each day.

She’s also doing many of the medical assessments with the Consultant for the more complex clients. This means she is working out their physical and mental health needs, as well as putting new starters on to opiate substitute treatment.

Her manager Teresa Wirz says: “Beverley is a really highly specialist nurse within addictions who in is working in an incredibly intensive and demanding role, particularly in terms of the NMP role in Hackney.”

Beverley says: “I’ll miss CNWL and the team at Hackney – it’s a great team and it has been lovely to work with them. I really feel I’ve made a difference.

“I helped work on improving links with the hospital liaison team and I’ve done a lot to improve the alcohol pathway.

“Given the challenges it could sometimes be difficult coping, but we’ve got a good strong clinical team and we work well together and support each other. I always try to have a smile on my face.”

She adds: “CNWL is a really good Trust and it’s great to work for. It took me a while to get my head around how spread out it is! This makes it more challenging but we have great support from senior leadership.”