Nursing team

The rheumatology department benefits from the expertise of our experienced specialist nursing team. The team offers support with medications training for patients, review of patients in clinic, as well as manning the Rheumatology Telephone Helpline. More information about our staff is shown below.

Sara Littlejohns

sara-littlejohnsI have been working as a Rheumatology nurse since 2012 but have been a qualified nurse since 1993. I have always thought of nursing as a privileged position, being given an insight into people’s lives and being able to provide support and help when they are at their most vulnerable.

Prior to working in Rheumatology I have had a varied career mostly in the acute setting within hospitals including Intensive Care and a Minor Injuries Unit. Every experience I have had is valid and used in this current role. I love my job and being part of this team. I have also been helping out at Litchdon House with the Dermatology team on a temporary basis and have learnt a lot about an area I had little experience in. I look forward to what the future holds for rheumatology and being a part of it.

In my spare time I like to swim and enjoy walking my dog Kiera. Weekends are spent with my 2 teenage children and husband doing usual family activities.

Nikki Seaman

Nikki SeamanI have worked within the Rheumatology team here for the past 20 years here in North Devon. It is a role that I have been very proud to have and a privilege to do. My background prior to working within Rheumatology was mainly Orthopaedics and Trauma and a small amount of time in medicine.

I work 4 days a week for Rheumatology which I find very rewarding. As a specialist nurse I am involved in all aspects of rheumatology care from managing nurse led clinics in the community covering South Molton on alternate Mondays and Holsworthy all day clinic once a month. I am also involved with a very busy advice line, research, audit and education.

I trained at Exeter in the 80s and have worked in Exeter, Kent, Bristol, Somerset and finally North Devon when my family moved here 28 years ago. I have had various roles within the trust and gained huge experience over the past 30+ years with nursing.

I have also had a dual role working within Dermatology from January 2013 until October 2017. This was a brilliant experience and a great team to work with. My role at this time was to set up a new service at Litchdon House and support patients with inflammatory skin conditions who require Disease-modifying therapy or Biologic treatments. This service now has 3 specialist nurses and we still work closely together to benefit our patients.

From December 2013 to March 2015 I was also involved with helping to set up a new Inflammatory Eye service for patients within the Opthalmology department. This was to reduce travel to Bristol and have care closer to home. The team are now managing this service independently.

On a personal level, I love the outdoors with a passion for horse riding, sailing and mountain biking with my husband and 2 sons.

Beverley Vale

Beverley ValeI joined the Rheumatology team at the beginning of 2011 and my nursing career spans over more than three decades with a background mainly in medicine.

Prior to joining Rheumatology, my most recent nursing experiences were on the elective orthopaedic ward, a short spell in intensive care and on the acute stroke unit.

Further back, I have worked in different care settings and in other general and community hospitals.

I gained my Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree, in Health and Social studies, graduating in 2013, from Plymouth University. The modules I studied have contributed to my present work.

In addition to my Rheumatology nurse role, I am also known as the Osteoporosis specialist nurse. Alongside the Rheumatology and care of the elderly consultants, I manage the osteoporosis service. This involves meeting patients in clinic to provide health education, information about medications, organising and administering treatments and planning long-term care. I organise patient education days to discuss lifestyle changes which help towards fracture prevention. I have since undertaken the non- medical prescribing course which enables me to prescribe for patients with osteoporosis.

Outside work I enjoy endurance sports and take part in cycling events and surf lifesaving. I gained my beach lifeguard qualification in 2015. I consider myself fortunate to live in Braunton, in beautiful North Devon, with my husband and three daughters who have now left home.

In the future, I hope we will see the development of a fracture liaison service for osteoporosis patients in North Devon, and expect to be involved in the development of this.

Lisa Murray

I qualified as an RN in 1995 and worked in surgery, orthopaedics and then Trauma, before enlisting in the RAF PMRAFNS.  After leaving the RAF, I continued working with the military as a civilian nurse, as well as working within the bank in various settings of the NHS and raising my 4 children.  I have (mostly) lived in beautiful North Devon since 2001, with a few breaks away when my Royal Naval husband was deployed.


I have been in post of Rheumatology Clinical Nurse Specialist since 2017. I am very interested in the variation of conditions, medicines and the wide spectrum of holistic care required with each individual.  It is such an enjoyable, rewarding and sometimes challenging career, within a great team of professionals.

Last updated: February 6, 2020