Glenholme News got the pleasure to sit down with Zoe Hunter, the Head of Clinical and Quality Delivery at Glenholme Healthcare. We interviewed her about her role and her journey in the healthcare industry. Often times there are people in the organisation who are rarely seen and thus, their roles and responsibilities are not known or fully understood.

A role like hers can often feel invisible. This is due to a number of reasons but as she explains, the maintenance of quality is in absolutely everything we do at Glenholme. So, at times it can feel like the unsung song because it’s always there – you’d only notice it if there wasn’t anyone implementing processes to maintain standards and the quality needed to provide the best care we can. For us to know what Zoe does, it’s only right that we get to know who she is. 

Born on the border of Wales and the daughter of military parents, Zoe spent her life moving across Europe, having lived in Germany and travelled to visit France, Switzerland and Italy. She later returned to Devon where her parents settled for some time. An extraordinary upbringing like hers was challenging but also fulfilling and joyous, it’s the nomadic lifestyle in her earlier years that exposed her to different cultures and people. This provided an ability to become perceptive and understand various points of view. Zoe has been a qualified nurse for 26 years and worked in healthcare for a total of 28 years. Her illustrious career in healthcare began on a whim as she initially dreamt of becoming an archaeologist, even going as far as to be accepted to study the course at Exeter University.

She made a decision that altered the trajectory of her career and life plan, which in hindsight chalked it up to being young and impulsive. Zoe went on to volunteer in a school for children with learning disabilities for two months and loved it. This was the moment the lightbulb went on and decided to pursue a degree in nursing at the University of Leeds. For 12 years at the Royal Papworth Hospital, Zoe worked in an intense medical environment working in the surgical department and was able to qualify as an anesthetic nurse. Her ambition led her to set her sights on becoming a district nurse, which she did for a few years and made the brave decision to leave the NHS. Zoe described this transition as a “massive thing” and “a huge thing to leave that institution because it’s a protective blanket.”

When asked what advice she’d give other nurses and support workers, she began to open up about
the sector and where she felt change was needed. Her zeal for caring was on full display. As she shared her thoughts about the healthcare sector, Zoe began sharing her desire for the nursing profession to be injected with passion again. Nursing is hard, it’s really hard, but I’m so passionate about nursing.” She went on to say “caring for someone is a privilege, especially in times of vulnerability.” Zoe acknowledged the work that hundreds of support workers at Glenholme do every day to look after the residents as a skill.

Zoe’s responsibility at Glenholme is upholding the clinical and quality excellence of the company. This means she has oversight over a number of departments that involve the standard of care we provide and the overall employee experience. Zoe acts as a signpost and resource for the organisation and conducts site visits to ensure the processes created are being implemented. When asked about the secret to achieving positive results in her role, Zoe shared how her decision to manage expectations and set clear objectives goes a long way. She further explains how “ego doesn’t serve any purpose” and how humility plays a key part in working as part of a team. The self-proclaimed “strong” and “kind” manager, has also won her favour amongst her colleagues due to her managerial style. Kristine Lachica (Training Coordinator) shared how “approachable and straightforward. She gives clear instructions, and not only tells you what needs to be done but also the ‘why’ behind it. She is generous with feedback and is supportive of career goals and aspirations.” It’s clear that Zoe maintains a great standard when dealing with issues and people alike, she’s made this role her own and has set the bar, not just for herself but for us too.