Richard Desir is Director of Nursing, Primary, Community and Intermediate Care Clinical Board, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. Originally from Manchester, he moved to South Wales to live with his wife and family in 2007 and continue his career, which resulted in great career growth and a balanced lifestyle.
“I was born and raised in Manchester and qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1989. I have worked in a variety of clinical settings including Inpatient medical and rehabilitation wards; cardio-thoracic care, accident and emergency and NHS Walk-in Centre’s in the north of England.
I met my wife who is Welsh, and who was also a Registered Nurse in England, and she really wanted to raise a family in Wales, so it felt completely natural to relocate back to her home city of Cardiff. I quickly realised how versatile Wales is from both a career and lifestyle perspective; everything you could ever want - from beautiful landscapes to urban towns - is within an hour’s drive.
The move to South Wales has provided me with a number of leadership opportunities. I am the Chair of the All-Wales District Nurse Strategic Oversight Board, with the aim of supporting District Nursing to become a digitally enabled service, with a focus on those processes that will benefit from digital enablement. Wales is the first UK nation to adopt a country-wide electronic system for community services, thus putting the user experience at the heart of digital transformation.
I am also passionate about widening diversity within Nursing; leading work streams with Nursing Now Wales/Cymru; as well as contributing to the Train.Work.Live campaign, and more recently contributed to the First Minister’s COVID-19 BAME Advisory Group and was recently appointed as consultant/mentor to support the Welsh Government in developing a Race Equality Action Plan-2021.
More recently, I have worked as a Senior Workforce Transformation Nurse, working alongside the most fantastic team within the Clinical Futures Programme in my then Health Board, which sets out our strategy of delivering care close to home, creating a network of local hospitals providing in patient care services, routine diagnostic and treatment services, and finally the centralising specialist and critical care services in a purpose build Specialist and Critical Care Centre. It is currently the largest transformation programme in NHS Wales.
The team are innovative and creative; supportive and the friendly environment is second to none here.
At the same time, I have held a prominent role in the wider All Wales Nurse Staffing Programmes, namely the All-Wales District Nursing Workforce Operational Lead for the Nurse Staffing programme. My role was to lead the development of an evidence-based workload and workforce tool in keeping with The Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act 2016.
In terms of personal development, I’ve benefitted from several additional training courses in Wales, including support in undertaking the Post Graduate Certificate Strategic Workforce Planning which gave me the opportunity to develop a business case for developing and implementing the 24-hour district nursing service within my health board.
I’ve also picked up some awards during my career within Wales — including runner-up for the Royal College of Nursing’s ‘Community Nurse of the Year’ in 2015’ for developing pathways and processes to improve the older persons experience from discharge from a hospital setting to a nursing home or residential care setting.
Living in Wales is great from a career and family perspective. Cardiff is such a vibrant city which is so diverse and inclusive, and the balance of rural and urban is great for both work and leisure. As a father, I’ve also been able to see first-hand what great opportunities are out there for young people too.
Outside of work, I am still involved in grass roots football and following and supporting junior athletics. It’s something I thoroughly enjoy, as well as being able to give something back to my community. For people looking to try something new, come and see what Wales has to offer — I guarantee you won’t regret it!”