June Burgess (1993-1996)

June BurgessI completed my Masters Degree in the Management of Quality in Healthcare at HSMC in 1996. My thesis was the 'Perception of Quality by Matrons of Nursing Homes' and at the time, I was a community Nurse Manager in Bath City and a Registration and Inspection Officer with the Wiltshire Health Authority. The main result of my MSc was an enormous growth in my self-confidence. At the time I managed a team of 60 community nursing staff and often felt challenged by my under-developed leadership qualities. I could never have imagined standing in front of a conference of hundreds of people and engaging them with my subject or teaching large groups of people, which I frequently do now.

Obtaining my MSc highlighted my capacity to learn new skills and techniques. Besides training as an inspector for aged care in the UK and Australia, I have completed extensive courses in order to become a life coach and an NLP practitioner. My MSc was the midlife foundation to having a successful and fulfilling course that I am still pursuing at the age of 64.

My career post HSMC took me to Australia where I worked as an Aged Care Quality Assessor helping to introduce the new national standards for accreditation to 500 homes in Queensland. It was during this time that I came across the Eden Alternative (a philosophy for and approach to improving quality of life for older people in residential and nursing care). On my return to the UK seven years ago, I discovered that no-one here had heard of the Eden Alternative in the nursing home arena so I contacted the Home Office in the UK and to cut a long story short, was invited to become the Coordinator for the UK and Ireland introducing the concept here. I hold the licence for educating Eden Associates for the UK and Ireland and have spent the last seven years talking at conferences and providing training courses and workshops to individual organisations interested in the concept.

The Eden Alternative is an organic process and as such my approach has been to grow the organisation, Eden Alternative UK, from a very small beginning with interested people. We now have 500 trained Eden Associates and over 25 organisations with multiples of homes introducing the philosophy. Eden has also been adopted worldwide and my most recent achievement has been to help train 120 Associates in South Africa, as our very able new coordinator for that country introduces it into the most diverse number of cultures there. Ironically, I have recently used a clip of HSMC Director, Jon Glasby, from BBC West Midlands Today regarding Alzheimer's and the Eden Alternative at Bennette House, Telford, in which he appears whilst teaching Eden Associates in the UK and South Africa.