I'm Jo and I live in Manchester, in North West England.
I have been a stroke nurse for almost all of my career, across the whole stroke pathway, starting in acute, then moving to inpatient rehabilitation, research, and now in community stroke rehabilitation and undergoing my ACP training.
Originally from the Yorkshire Dales, I did most of my training in Portsmouth and started my first job in 2001 on the newly opened ASU in Southampton.
A move to Manchester led to a brief foray into HDU, but my heart was definitely still in stroke and I moved to the Salford stroke rehabilitation unit in 2003.
Research was always a strong interest and getting involved in recruiting patients to studies meant I jumped at the opportunity to work for the newly formed NIHR Stroke Research Network in 2006. I became the Patient. Carer and Public Involvement Lead across the North West, and this ignited a passion for patient involvement in all I did from then on, and continues to influence my practice today.
I really missed clinical practice after some time, so when the chance to lead a new Early Supported Discharge Team in the community arose, i decided that was the challenge for me. I am still there, though the team is now a Comprehensive Community Stroke team. Currently undertaking my Advanced Clinical Practice training, I am still absolutely passionate about stroke and stroke care, and particularly rehabilitation.
I have 2 children, both teenagers, and my favourite thing to do is big outdoor challenges, such as ultra-marathons, big bike rides on any kind of bike and long swims, either separately or in triathlons. I am NOT, however, a high achiever, and see it as an important public service to be happy to occupy last spot in anything I attempt. Over the years I have had several bouts of depression, and I am really encouraged to see a more open attitude to discussing mental health problems in the same way as we discuss physical health challenges.
I am passionate about inclusivity for people after stroke, and my specialist subjects are sex and intimacy, continence, and how stroke affects women particularly.
I have been a member of the NSNF for many years and am ridiculously excited and proud to be deputy chair, and am looking forward to getting stuck in.