AS she leaves St Luke’s after 13 years with the much loved Sheffield charity, Deputy Chief Executive Judith Park can look back on 13 years that have seen some of the biggest changes in the organisation’s history.
“What I really wish is that I’d had a camera to track those changes,” she laughs. “Things happen so quickly and it would be good to take a moment to pause and reflect – but that doesn’t happen very often!”
Judith arrived at St Luke’s in 2006 as Director of Patient Services and as her role has evolved so too has the role of the charity and the services it provides.
There has been a complete restructuring of the charity’s workforce and services, the £5 million plus rebuilding of the St Luke’s In Patient Centre, the development of the Active Intervention Centre, the expansion of community nursing services, pioneering outreach work like Project ECHO, the twinning of St Luke’s with a hospice in Egypt and, most recently, the opening of Clifford House, the centre for people with life limiting illnesses.
“I look back on all that and realise just how many great things have been achieved,” Judith says.
“In health care terms generally the last decade has been transformational and at St Luke’s you could say the last 13 years have been a massive, massive journey where the way we deliver care has been completely transformed.
“And for me, one of the most rewarding parts of that journey has been seeing how the team have grown and developed in that time.
“I think this organisation really develops people and enables them to reach their full potential and I hope that I have been a part of that, enabling and encouraging it.”
The one thing that remains unchanging through the decades is the dedication to providing the best patient experience.
“I remember when I started I did a lot of shifts working with patients at a time when we had just two out of date bathrooms for 33 patients,” Judith says.
“Even then, though, the patients themselves spoke about the outstanding levels of care and for the patients that attention to care has remained exemplary throughout the years.
“The facilities and what we deliver have basically been transformed but the important thing, even with those huge changes we have seen in infrastructure and technology is that the care remains at the heart of everything we do.
“Our patients and their families have always been central to what we do and they continue to be so.”
Judith adds that St Luke’s has also re-connected with the city as a whole in more than a decade.
“We know from the research we have done that we have a direct impact on Sheffield people and we know we have an impact outside of Sheffield too.
“That for me means we have been able to influence patient care and family care both for the citizens of Sheffield, which is primarily what we are here to do, but also further afield – and even right through to Egypt!
“It has been a decade of phenomenal change and now we have the facilities that reflect the care we offer.
“And always the most importantly thing is that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done – St Luke’s is still here to care for you – and that is what makes us so special.”
Our Chief Executive Peter Hartland commented: “Judith has made a huge contribution to St Luke’s over the last 13 years and her focus on putting patients and their families first, together with her support for all of the team, has helped to shape the care we give – now and in the future.
“Judith has been an outstanding nurse, and a champion for nursing excellence. We’ll all miss her very much and wish her all the best for a happy future.’