St Barnabas celebrates International Women’s Day with promotions and new recruit

8th March 2023

Collage of three portraits of women. On the left, Michelle Webb with short brown hair and black polkadot dress, in the middle Rebecca Franks with grey hair wearing gilet and flowery top, on the right Emma Wheatley, brown hair and light pink jacket

Today, Wednesday 8th March, marks International Women’s Day, a global initiative to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. 

St Barnabas Hospice currently employs 268 women across the organisation, including doctors and nurses, housekeepers, fundraisers, retail workers, receptionists, and staff in every other area of the charity. Not to mention the Hospice was founded by a group of extraordinary women: Dr Helen Walker, Doreen Wood, Jenny Freeman, and Sheila Briggs.

Without the knowledge and passion of these four women and the many who followed in their footsteps, our charity would not be able to provide palliative and end of life care to over 12,000 people in Lincolnshire each year.

Today we shine a light on three incredible women within St Barnabas: Michelle Webb who has been promoted to Deputy Chief Executive, Rebecca Franks who has taken on Michelle’s previous role of Director of Patient Care Services, and Emma Wheatley who has recently started her Clinical Operations Lead role.

Together, the three have a staggering 86 years of experience in clinical care and are keen to pass on words of wisdom to young women who may be interested in joining the healthcare sector.

Michelle Webb is leaving her post as Director of Patient Care Services in the next week and will take up the brand-new role of Deputy Chief Executive in early April.

Michelle Webb, a woman with short brown hair wearing black polkadot dress with white trim and blue lanyard

Michelle says: “I have been a nurse since 1983 with numerous degrees and qualifications under my belt. In my long career I have taken on clinical and leadership roles, but the bottom line is I am very proud to be a nurse. I think hospice care exemplifies the best nursing that care can offer, by providing very personalised and holistic care to patients and their families.

“I am proud of what I achieved in the role I’m now moving on from, including supporting the Hospice to get an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and making improvements in our clinical care. In my new role I will be developing strategies and delivering innovation to ensure the best in Hospice care can be offered to the people of Lincolnshire.”

In her personal life Michelle is a car enthusiast, who enjoys driving and maintaining two classic cars with her sons and husband. She loves spending time with her whole family including her precious granddaughter, the family dog Cocoa and cheeky cat Flora.

“My advice to young women is: Never give up on a career aspiration or dream. Remember, believe what you can do, and you are halfway there!”

Rebecca Franks is taking over from Michelle as Director of Patient Care Services after working for a year as Senior Clinical Service Manager.

Rebecca Franks, grey haired woman wearing dark blue gilet and flowery top

Rebecca studied nursing at University of Nottingham and has a Master’s degree in Law, as well as an advanced clinical practitioner qualification. She has extensive experience working in GP practices, prisons, sexual health and walk-in centres, A&E and out of hours care.

Rebecca says: “In my role it’s so important to be aware of what’s going on across all teams, this way we can act quickly to best support our patients. I work on future planning of St Barnabas services and their delivery, as well as reviewing our activities, being out with the staff and I usually drink lots of cups of tea!

“I am proud of my achievements in my career with St Barnabas so far, these include strengthening and recruiting to the clinical team in North East Lincolnshire and supporting nurses on university modules to develop their clinical skills and practice.”

Rebecca is more than a fantastic asset to the St Barnabas team, she also is very talented in other ways; she plays the harp, flute, and piano (though she added ‘badly’ to the latter) and loves to play tennis. She can often be found on the edge of a rugby pitch watching her daughter participate and on top of all that, busy bee Rebecca and her husband also run their own florist business.

“My advice to young women is: Do what you feel in your heart to be right, do it with courage and do it with integrity. Believe in yourself, share your experience and knowledge widely and put yourself forward in your career for what interests and excites you.”

Emma Wheatley is a new face at St Barnabas, having started in February, but she certainly is not green in the ways of clinical care.

Emma Wheatley, dark haired woman wearing light pink jacket, on grey background

She has held senior leadership positions within the NHS for the last 13 years, after starting as an Occupational Therapy Support Worker in 1999 and working her way up.

Emma says: “As I get settled into my role, I will be providing support and leadership to the clinical nursing and Allied Health professional teams across the county.

“Hospice care allows people to have the most dignified and person-centred care at the time it matters the most, and St Barnabas understands that everyone has individual needs and wishes. Everyone I work with goes above and beyond every single day and I am very grateful to be part of such a fabulous organisation.”

Emma has a lot of interests outside of her passion for clinical care, including spending time with her friends and family, especially her grandson, taking holidays to any hot destination, as well as keeping fit in the gym.

“My advice to young women everywhere is: You can be whoever you want to be. There’s no set journey and it may take a while to get to where you want but enjoy your time and be yourself!”

If you are inspired to work for St Barnabas Hospice, take a look at the current vacancies on our website:

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