We’ve been getting to know Staff Governor, Emma Karim, who previously worked as a Staff Nurse on Ward 6 at HRI before recently moving to Ward 5.

Emma decided to stand for Governor after the Royal College of Nursing ballot on pay. She noticed a low turnout of votes within CHFT, and is now passionate about increasing colleague engagement and getting more peoples' voices heard.

Hello my name is… Emma Karim. I have been in the Trust for five years. Prior to that, I worked in respiratory medicine and elderly rehabilitation in Barnsley for 18 years. I have two children, so like most colleagues juggle that with work. 

I am also an elected staff governor for the Nurses and Midwives staff group.

Tell us about your career background

I qualified as a nurse in 1996 and have always worked in elderly medicine. I was originally based in Barnsley where many patients were ex-miners, so I undertook further training to specialise in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and respiratory nursing. I came to ward 8 as a band 5 and have never regretted moving, I love working at CHFT.

What are the best bits about your job?

I work with a great team, and we bounce off each other really well. I get to meet lots of really interesting people with some great anecdotes and personalities. Every day is different, and I can honestly say I still feel constantly challenged and rewarded by my job.

What is the highlight of your career so far?

Too many to list, every day gives something back. From feeling I have supported people through difficult times to helping inexperienced staff navigate their role.

Sum up your role in three words.

Challenging, rewarding, diverse.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I had no clue. To the extent that I was sent to make tea in a nursing home for my work experience as it was the only placement left and no one had picked it. Turns out it was meant to be.

Who is your hero/heroine and why?

I am very flaky, and this changes all the time. Sometimes it’s the IT person who sorts my problem and sometimes it’s a person in a headline in the paper.

When you are not at work, how do you relax?

Spending time with family and friends, culture and travelling.

What is your favourite place?

Again, this changes all the time. Anywhere with a clear sky, lovely scenery, and good company.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

We have spent 20 years renovating a house in the South of France and it is less built now than it was when we started.

Why did you decide to stand for election as a staff governor?

I stood for governor after the RCN ballot on pay. I had been very vocal on my ward urging staff to use their votes as they wished to so their voices would be heard. I was neutral about my opinions but felt strongly that a wasted vote sent no message either way.  When the results were released and I saw our Trust had a low turnout I felt I wanted to get staff more engaged with the Trust.