Endometriosis UK is delighted to welcome Joanne Hanley as part of the team – our new Specialist Advisor. Joanne is a specialist endometriosis nurse, and will be helping us update our information resources, working closely with the staff and volunteer team to ensure those with endometriosis have access to the information and support they need.
In this blog, Joanne tells us all about the work she will be doing and why she’s determined to drive change for the 1.5million women and those assigned female at birth with endometriosis in the UK.
Joanne - welcome! Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
Hello, my name is Joanne Hanley, and I have recently joined the Endometriosis UK team as a Specialist Advisor. I’m very excited to have taken on this role to support the charity and endometriosis community and help promote the awareness, understanding and support for of endometriosis across the UK.
As well as my part-time role with Endometriosis UK, I’m continuing with my work as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner within a BSGE Accredited NHS Endometriosis Service.
I’m usually asked, what’s an Advanced Clinical Practitioner? Basically, I am a Specialist nurse with a Masters qualification in advanced clinical practice. This level of training and experience has enabled me to work as an autonomous practitioner. As an Advanced Clinical Practitioner working within the NHS, I run clinics, manage patients care, commence and prescribing treatment, request and review investigation and work closely with Gynaecologists as part of the surgical planning process. I am not a doctor and do not carry out any surgical procedures. I also provide support to patients during hospital stays and outside of the clinical setting, supporting symptom, patient management and clinical queries through emails and telephone consultations. Alongside my NHS endometriosis role, I also work within an emergency gynaecology department and manage a wide array of gynaecological condition from early pregnancy complaints to acute presentations of endometriosis symptoms.
What inspired you to want to work as a specialist endometriosis nurse?
Since qualifying as a nurse in 2011, I have always worked within gynaecology. I’m passionate in promoting the importance of women’s health, specifically endometriosis. Endometriosis effects a population of 1.5 million, yet it’s a disease that isn’t always understood and awareness of the disease is lacking. As a newly qualified nurse I didn’t really know what endometriosis was, the more I learnt about it and the more I encountered and cared for patients suffering with endometriosis the more I appreciated the complex and chronic nature of the disease and the importance of a specialist nurse role, this was a career I wished to pursue. I worked alongside a team of consultant gynaecologists with a specialist interest in endometriosis and before I knew it, I was part of the team.
It’s amazing to have you on board at Endometriosis UK! Could you tell us a little bit about what you’ll be working on with the charity, and what your priorities will be?
My aim as a Specialist Advisor for Endometriosis UK is to help shape and grow our support services by sharing my clinical knowledge, skills and expertise ensuring we are providing the information and support that is needed. As well as keeping up to date the information Endometriosis UK provides, I’ll be developing new resources to help support those living with endometriosis.
I will be building connections within our community of volunteers who run our Support Groups, Helpline, WebChat and online forum, supporting them to provide the best service we can. I’m eager to engage and support other clinicians across the NHS to promote the Charity, through education and training. Ultimately the aim is to raise awareness of endometriosis nationwide and push for advances in treatment and patient care going forward.
What are you most looking forward to working with Endometriosis UK?
I am most looking forward to seeing changes (for the better) in endometriosis care, working as part of the Endometriosis UK team to push for reduced diagnosis times, improved access to healthcare and to ensure those effected by endometriosis receive the care and treatment they need in a timely manner. As a both a clinician and a specialist advisor I hope to advocate the needs of our service users and continue to promote endometriosis care nationally.