Ensuring quality care – Julie is our NHS Hero

A childhood obsession with Florence Nightingale led to Julie Bradbury (54) following in the footsteps of her auntie and grandma and pursuing a career in the NHS, which has so far spanned almost 37 years.

Julie began her mental health nurse training at St. Matthews Hospital in Burntwood, the day after she turned 18 and her career has led her to her current role as manager of Walsall North Community Recovery Service for Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership (DWMH).

“St. Matthews was one of the old mental health asylums,” explains Julie.

“It was a huge place and was originally built to hold over 500 patients. I stayed there until 1993, as they had started the process of closing the hospital down.”

Julie, who lives in Cheslyn Hay, then moved to take up a community psychiatric nurse role in Walsall, before progressing into her current role.

“I now manage a very busy community mental health team, based in Mossley. We provide extensive mental health support to patients in our area, both in their own homes and at our community base.”

Julie says that no two days are the same and that they face difference challenges on a daily basis, but that is one of the reasons she loves her role.

“I find my role incredibly rewarding and I enjoy every aspect of it,” smiles Julie.

“It can be extremely challenging, but when you see some of the outcomes we do it makes it all worthwhile.”

On a day to day basis, Julie supports the team to provide the very best care to service users in the area.

“The team are fantastic – I can’t speak highly enough of them,” said Julie.

“I have managed the team for 23 years, and a lot of the staff have been on that journey with me – we have seen many changes, but always embraced them and we pride ourselves on the care we offer to our service users.”

Recently, Julie and her Clinical Lead, Annie, were named as the winners of the ‘Leading with Integrity’ category at the DWMH Recognising Success Awards.

“We were delighted to be nominated, never mind shortlisted and to win was incredible,” Julie beamed.

“Some of the nominations came from the team themselves, so it was really nice to hear that we make a difference to them.”

Julie says that her next big challenge is managing any changes that occur from the Trust’s forthcoming merger.

Outside of work, Julie enjoys spending time with her husband Andrew (so she says is her hero!) and her daughter Gracie.

“I enjoy travelling, family time and the puppy (sometimes!).”

Julie’s mental health message: “At the end of the day, remind yourself that you did the best you could today and that is good enough.”