Publish date: 26 May 2023

To mark the NHS’ 75th birthday on 5 July, the experiences of people working or volunteering in the NHS are being shared in a collection of online stories, including assistant chief nurse Dr Alison Finch.

As part of the national celebrations to mark the NHS’ 75th birthday on 5 July, the experiences of people working or volunteering in the NHS are being shared in a collection of online stories.

NHS England » Your NHS stories on the NHS England website features the stories of people who work and volunteer in the NHS and asks five key questions which include about what they do, their career journey and what they would say to someone considering an NHS role. The aim is to go behind the scenes and showcase the 360 plus careers that make up the NHS workforce.

Dr Alison Finch, an assistant chief nurse at UCLH appears in one of the stories. Describing her thirty year career in which she has ‘never not enjoyed my work’, Alison talks about her roles at UCLH as a cancer nurse, clinical leader, researcher and professional lead championing nurses’ academic careers.

Alison joined The Middlesex Hospital in 1999, as deputy sister of The Middlesex Adolescent Unit (now T12 South), England’s first, mixed specialty inpatient service for young people. This led to her developing her practice in haematology.  Following a secondment to adult haematology and its young people’s haematology satellite units, she became a haematology ward sister, and then matron and lead nurse of the children and young people’s cancer service.

In more recent years, Alison has worked in corporate nursing in an assistant chief nurse role while retaining her clinical interest in cancer.

Alongside her work at UCLH, Alison is an NIHR Senior Research Leader for nursing and midwifery; a new national programme to leverage the research capacity, capability and contributions of the professions. In addition, she has become the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North Thames inaugural senior nursing lead. NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) are regional collaborations between organisations that undertake applied health and care research that meets the most pressing health and social care needs of our local and national communities.

Alison recently completed an NIHR funded doctoral fellowship, resulting in a PhD in Applied Health Research at UCL. She said, “Education and staff development is at the very heart of UCLH and I am very appreciative of the support and encouragement UCLH has given me"

Chief nurse Vanessa Sweeney said: “Alison epitomises nursing professionalism and is a valued member of the senior nursing leadership team. Her role as assistant chief nurse for research is an exciting development and will be instrumental in realising our ambitions for nurse-led research at UCLH’

You can read Alison’s story, together with many more here.

The 75th birthday is being marked in lots of different ways, including celebrating the 75th anniversary of Windrush, a special edition 50p coin, a parkrun and so much more. Read more on the NHS75 website here

Plans are underway to mark the special birthday at UCLH – watch this space.