Meet one of the Trust's Primary Care Coordinators, Joan Turnbull


Meet one of the Trust's Primary Care Coordinators, Joan Turnbull

Background: Married/Children/Living/Occupation: What’s your professional background? What’s your role within the Western Trust?


When I was approached to share my role with the readers I thought who on earth wants to know about me, then I thought well I’ll get to share information on Primary Care and Older People’s services in the Western Trust. I am married to Gordon, happily, and for a long time, we have one daughter and three sons, all living in Scotland/England since they went to university, were employed and met their partners over there so needless to say I miss them ‘a lot’. We also have a granddaughter Emily who is our little star.


I was a nurse for 20 years and after working as Marie Curie Nurse and the involvement in circumstances of family following death of young mothers, I decided I would like to be involved in social issues of care. After due consideration  I was accepted at Magee College  when I was ‘forty’ to change direction of my profession and qualified in 1995 as Social Worker. I have been employed in Primary Care and Older People’s services since graduating except for a brief time in Oncology and Dementia Teams. I have to add here that my interest and passion is cancer/palliative care. However I returned to the Older People Team as Senior Social Worker, and when Integrated Service Delivery teams were established my title changed to Primary Care Co-Coordinator. I have management responsibility for Social Workers, Nurses and Occupational Therapists in Strabane area, part of Omagh locality. At the recent social work awards ceremony Mr Guckian expressed the view that there was evidence of excellent Social Work practice despite the limited resources available, and this is entirely my view. The example of work shared by clients, carers and social workers at the ceremony were very typical of work in our directorate.


The Social Work team for whom I am responsible, and those within our locality, are professional in their approach, committed to the care for all those with whom they are involved and have an innate decency in terms of support for each other. The staff has excellent Social Work values and the contributions they bring to supervision is to a very high standard and represents the Trust accordingly. The Nurses and Occupational Therapists in my team have clinical supervision within their own profession, however I endeavour to support them in their exemplary high standard of practice.



What’s the biggest challenge in your job?

The biggest challenge in my job is to maintain the standard of excellence of professionalism by ensuring staff have all the available resources in terms of training and support. I am always encouraged by staff responses to my management role.