Jill Horsey

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Isle of Man Representative

Hi, I’m Jill. I joined the committee in 2023 and took up joint responsibility for social media and website management which will be interesting.

I work as the Lead Nurse for Stroke on the Isle of Man. For those who don’t know, the Isle of Man is in the middle of the Irish Sea between the UK and Ireland. I am the Lead Nurse for Stroke and have been in that post for the past 9 years. Prior to that I was the stroke nurse specialist.

I arrived on the Isle of Man in 2002 after training then working in Liverpool for a few years. My career back ground was in haematology, then hospice followed by general medicine.

When I first arrive we did not have a stroke unit, it was established in 2010 and I started working there as a ward sister. It was a very exciting time as we only had the barebones of a service and as a team we had to build it from the ground up. I had always been a medical nurse at heart and had never thought of a career in stroke but I just loved it. The national stroke community was and is so welcoming and I felt so inspired.

I became the Stroke CNS in 2013 when the role was established, on my first day we had a RCP Peer review to look at improving our service. It was a little daunting to be in a new role being assessed by Tony Rudd, Gill Cumberbatch (Cluckie) and Paul Fitzsimmons, I thought if I can survive that I can survive anything. The realty was they were amazing and they continue to be a positive influence on my career.

Over the following years, as a team, we established a nurse led 24/7 tele stroke thrombolysis service, stroke review service, TIA and therapy plans. The most powerful tool to helping us achieve this was data. We put every person referred onto SSNAP this includes TIA and stroke mimics. This data has informed what we need, what education is needed, prevention activities etc, influenced business plans etc.

My current role is very diverse and I have regular imposter syndrome! I don’t do as much hyper acute as I used to (for a while it was just me delivering Monday-Friday 9-5), I now have a team of 6 hospital based stroke nurses who are awesome and enable the delivery of a 24/7 service. I have the privilege of supporting people through the entire pathway. I often see them during their initial admission and I provide follow up for around a year. One of my favourite parts of my role in the life after stroke groups I deliver with the Stroke Association, I find them so inspiring and I enjoy the support systems they build.

The other side of my role is service lead, harnessing the knowledge of our team, including our patients, and making positive service developments or delivering education programmes etc is amazing. There is so much we can do, picking what next is the hard bit! I have also been fortunate enough to work with NICE on stroke guideline development.

Being on an island means that we can be a little isolated. We are not the UK NHS, but our health service is built the same, it just has slightly less boundaries which means we can be a little more flexible with our approach which helps us with the economies of scale challenges small healthcare systems have.

Being part of the NSNF and attending forums such as the UKSF enables me to keep in touch and meet other people in similar roles. Peer support and sharing information and knowledge is so important and is part of what attracted me to the stroke community when I first started. It’s also an opportunity to directly the support the future of stroke nursing and the development of stroke services in the future.