Wendy Ratcliffe (nee Rainsford) has had an incredible career as a nurse, and then moving into health visiting. Her passion for helping others and caring was inspired early in childhood by Florence Nightingale who was her role model. Wendy trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London in the early 1980’s, becoming a Registered General Nurse in 1986.
On completion of her training Wendy first worked as a Registered Staff Nurse on an oncology ward at Bart’s. She then started a family with her husband, Gerard, and took more flexible positions on the Banks at London Bridge and Chelsfield Park Hospitals. In 1993, with three small children, the family moved to Aberdeen, Scotland, where Wendy continued her nursing at the Albyn hospital before moving into a Community Nursing role with NHS Grampian in 1999.
Wendy was driven to progress her career and opted to follow her keen passion for health promotion by seeking a role in health visiting. In 2004 she graduated from the Robert Gordon University with a degree in Community Health Nursing (Health Visiting), which allowed her to work for close to two decades in health visiting, supporting hundreds of children and families across Aberdeen. Always passionate about the role she also completed a standalone Masters module, 2014, which enabled her to mentor and provide clinical supervision of trainee health visitors training in Aberdeen. This has meant ensuring she has always been up to date and well informed about practice so enabling her to share this with the trainees. It has been a wonderful experience and given her many new opportunities to get to know and support staff and spend time gaining a deeper understanding into evidenced based practice which continually changes.
As a health visitor in Aberdeen, she worked in various community teams supporting best outcomes for children and families in different areas of social deprivation. Liaising with allied health team members from social work to paediatricians to coordinate cohesive care for patients. Underpinning her practice has been gaining trust from clients enabling therapeutic relationships to establish and client centred delivery of support.
In her work she managed a considerable personal caseload of patients and amongst her biggest achievements were:
- Setting up a Parent’s Cafe in a deprived city area
- Evangelising infant health in the city, including a breastfeeding support group and baby massage training for families
- Working as a trusted advisor for child protection and best outcomes for children at risk in highly sensitive situations, participating in numerous Case Conferences
- Being part of a multi-agency group in Aberdeen-WRAM (Write Right About Me) responding to The Promise (Scot Gov) and moving forward in response looking at best practice record keeping for all agencies by capturing a child’s ‘voice’ in writing.
Wendy has made a difference to many people over her career, and on her retirement from nursing in 2022, we want to celebrate her contributions over the years and the impact she has had on many lives.