Today we are spotlighting Carolyn Musgrave, Lead Nurse for Alcohol and Substance Misuse who was nominated by Angela Zegnani. Angela said:

“I would like to nominate Carolyn as she lives and breathes our Trust values. She is an excellent role model, and she goes above and beyond for service users. She drives her team to be excellent role models and she is very well respected at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital were the Drug and Alcohol Liaison team is based. She works on both CCG teams for both trusts to ensure our service users are treated with dignity and respect right from the beginning. She provides drug and alcohol training to all staff at Royal Wolverhampton Hospital so they can understand how addiction works and how to prescribe safely.”

Carolyn was asked about her role and why it is so important to her, she said:

“I am the Lead Nurse for Alcohol and Substance Misuse at New Cross Hospital, with a team of seven staff we run a service for anyone admitted to hospital with an alcohol or drug problem. We also reach out to hospital staff who may be struggling with addiction. We run a special service for pregnant women as part of our team, which I lead on. I have worked in addiction since 1987 in various roles, including a special women’s project I ran in the 90s.

I am truly inspired by our clients, and on a daily basis find myself in awe of their tenacity and passion and wonder, if I was in their shoes, would I do as well as them?

I am also inspired by the health professionals I meet every day, who, especially recently, through Covid and with the challenges the health service faces, continue to want to be part of the solution.

People with addiction are often judged harshly, misunderstood, and discriminated against. Trauma is often part of the package and regularly ignored in favour of focussing on difficult behaviours. Women especially receive harsh criticism for their addiction without any understanding of the underlying issues that may be abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault etc.

I am passionate about advocating for our clients, to ensure they get the best treatment possible, in this context, equity to me means fairness and justice and recognises that we do not all start from the same place, and we must acknowledge and make adjustments to those imbalances. Our clients need more, not less!”

Carolyn Musgrave