Blog: A Day in the Life of a Matron - Arthritis Action

Blog: A Day in the Life of a Matron

11 May 2022

Celebrating International Nurses Day

Ahead of International Nurses Day 12th May, we asked our Trustee and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust Matron and Clinical Nurse Specialist to give us a taste of what inspired him to get involved in nursing and what a typical working day is like for him.

By Colin Beevor, Arthritis Action Trustee, Matron and Clinical Nurse Specialist at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust


A Bit About Me

My interest in nursing was sparked at a young age by my dad who worked as an ambulance driver. He introduced me to some great nursing role models through his work contacts. This inspired me to join the St John Ambulance organisation and attend the Broadland School of Nursing at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston. I went on to work as an enrolled nurse for a number of years and then a staff nurse, before specialising in rheumatology.

I worked as a Ward and Outpatient Charge Nurse in Portsmouth, to support the workforce in providing high-quality, evidenced-based rheumatology care. In 2003 I was promoted to Matron, and over the years my role has developed into a busy managerial and educational role to help develop the teams of Senior Sisters and Clinical Nurse Specialists that I manage. Together we provide care to patients with Trauma and Orthopaedic, pain, osteoporosis, and Connective Tissue Diseases.


A Day In The Life of a Matron

My day starts around 6:00am when I start working through emails and preparing for the day’s clinics. At 7.45am, I meet with the Senior Clinical and Administrative leads to look at the staffing needs across the five main areas (Rheumatology Outpatients and Day Case, Fracture and Orthopaedic (Adult and Paediatric Clinics), Fracture Liaison Service, Pain Clinic Procedure Theatre lists).

After this I settle into preparing for clinics. On non-clinic days, I review calls coming through the Patient Advice and Information line and catch up on previous meetings and actions that I need to complete.

During the day I take some time to check in with my staff to ensure their well-being. I also touch base with the admin staff I manage, to ensure all the services are running smoothly and to follow up on any issues that may come up. Whenever possible, I meet rheumatology outpatients or day case suite patients and their families who I know well and have been involved in caring for over the years.

In the afternoon, I may chair and participate in several service meetings looking at medication safety and use, quality improvement, and service line reports looking at areas that we are excelling in, pinch points and areas that need service review.


Looking Ahead

We are constantly facing new challenges and looking at how emerging technology and service improvements can provide quality care to patients through a variety of services.

We have a number of ongoing projects, including electronic prescribing of medications in the day case suite, paper free patient records, and an exciting project called My Medical Records. This involves creating electronic patient-owned health records for 350 patients living with Ankylosing Spondylitis. The aim is to help patients to co-manage their healthcare and connect them with their care team, as well as providing them with more information from the hospital electronic records systems.

Communication is key, so we are looking at re-designing the rheumatology web page to provide more effective messaging. Before Covid-19 we would be in touch with around 60 patients a day, but nowadays we are contacting over 100 patients a day.

The team spirit and camaraderie keep everyone motivated. Each day staff give me questions and challenges which is great for my ‘food for thought ideas’ around how we could do things differently. We aim to provide a quality of service to our patients and wherever possible support family and carers as needed.

Colin has over 26 years’ experience in rheumatology and previous experience working with fracture and orthopaedic outpatients. Colin takes us through a day in the life of a Matron and Clinical Nurse Specialist and shows how to provide the best care for patients living with arthritis and connective tissue diseases.


About International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day is typically celebrated globally around the 12th of May, commemorating the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Each year, the campaign is led by the International Council of Nurses. You can find more information by visiting their website.