Amy Basford is the Lead Infection Prevention Nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, part of one of the largest teaching hospital trusts in England. The Adult Nursing graduate from Staffordshire University has specialised in infection prevention and control since completing her degree, working at several NHS trusts across the Midlands.
Amy’s interest in nursing stemmed from her own ill health during her teens, when she was a regular inpatient at Stafford Hospital. After recovering in her early 20s, she embarked on her degree in 2010, before starting her career helping to minimise the chances of patients getting preventable infections while in hospital.
She said: “I love my role. No two days are the same and I get to work with a variety of staff towards delivering high quality patient care with a vision that no person is harmed by a preventable infection.”
Originally from Stafford, Amy was in and out of the town’s hospital from the age of 12 until she started her degree at Staffordshire University at 20 years old.
She explained: “When I was 12 years old, me and all my family caught flu and we were all very unwell. After a few weeks, the family improved but I wasn’t getting better, just getting worse, struggling to get out of bed or even move.
“That’s when I got diagnosed with ME; it made my immune system very vulnerable as well to other infections. It wasn’t until I started the course at Staffordshire University that things were getting better. There’s always a potential chance of relapsing symptoms with it but I’ve been very healthy for some time now.
“I went for a nursing degree because of the ill health I had throughout my teens, feeling inspired by the nurses who cared for me but also wanting to be a part of improving health care. I wanted to get into nursing when I was better and, at the time I was getting better, I spent a year working for a domiciliary care organisation. I was working with people with day-to-day care needs. People that needed support with their long-term health conditions. Having that ill health in my earlier years helped me understand what makes a difference for patients.
“I heard really good things about Staffordshire University. The lecturers were personable and made their lectures and skills labs enjoyable. And the Stafford campus was so close to home.”
Amy qualified in 2013 and immediately started working as an infection prevention and control nurse for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust. She then moved to the University Hospitals of North Midlands in September 2015 and then Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust in January 2017.
In January 2019, Amy started at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham as the Lead Infection Prevention Nurse.
Amy also used to teach as a guest lecturer at Staffordshire University, on the pre-registration nursing degree. As a newly qualified nurse, she won an award for developing practical teaching sessions in infection prevention, and she has also been shortlisted for national awards alongside her team.
She said: “I can foresee myself being in this specialist field for some time. It’s such a vast specialism and there is a long way to go with it. My next goals would be to present at infection prevention conferences as I settle into my new role. I’m just really enjoying it. I’m in disbelief at what has been achieved in the last five years of my nursing career and I feel so grateful that it all started at Staffs.”