A BBC star – Harriet is our NHS Hero

From working on the wards at Dorothy Pattison Hospital to making her television debut on BBC’s Ambulance, Dudley and Walsall’s very own superstar Harriet Lawrence (33) never thought she would be lucky enough to be where she is today.

Harriet, who lives in Halesowen, has been a nurse for over 10 years and has spent the whole of her working career with Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH).

“I studied psychology at college and so I knew I was interested in the human mind from the get-go, but in terms of nursing, I guess I just sort of fell into it!” said Harriet.

After qualifying as a registered mental health nurse, Harriet has progressed into various roles within different teams whilst working for DWMH. These include, staff nurse at Dorothy Pattison Hospital and as a community psychiatric nurse (CPN) in the community, the criminal justice team and now with the street triage team.

The street triage team, which Harriet joined in 2015, consists of paramedics, police officers and mental health workers who work together to help patients across the Black Country who are experiencing a mental health crisis or acute distress in the community.

Harriet said: “My role can be extremely challenging at times, but having direct contact with patients and helping them as much as possible is what drives me to do the best I can for them.

“Not only is it rewarding to see patients so quickly, but it’s rewarding to be able to see them in their own homes where they feel most comfortable as hospital environments can be frightening for patients.”

Throughout her career, Harriet said she’s had many career highlights, but one which stands out the most was securing her role with the street triage team.

“I have never gained so much experience from a job role as much as I have working as part of the street triage team; every day is so different and the experience is invaluable,” said Harriet.

“I am also proud to say that I have just passed my non-medial prescribing module as part of a qualification I am currently completing.

“It’s fantastic that I am one step closer to being able to prescribe medication to patients in their own home without the need for a doctor.”

Outside of work, Harriet loves spending time with her daughter Nancy.

“I just love to spend time with my friends and family, that’s what means the most to me,” said Harriet.

So who is Harriet’s hero?

“I don’t really have just one hero.

“I would say that the street triage team and my fellow nursing colleagues across the Trust are my heroes because they all do such difficult jobs to try and make others’ lives better.”

Harriet’s mental health message: “No matter how big or small your problems are, just talk to someone.”