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 alot 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 for the past 16 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 3 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, advice line, to 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 25 years ago. I have had various roles within the trust and gained huge experience over the past 30+ years.

Currently, I have a dual role also working within Dermatology. I joined the team at Litchdon house in January 2013 and continue to work there on Mondays – this role aims to support patients with inflammatory skin conditions who require Disease modifying therapy or Biologic treatments.

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 enjoy horse riding and mountain biking with my husband and 2 teeenage sons.

Beverley Vale

Beverley ValeI joined the Rheumatology team at the beginning of 2011 and my nursing career spans over 3 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 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 providing health education, information about medications, organising and administering treatments and planning long-term care. I am planning patient education days to discuss lifestyle changes which will help prevent fractures occurring.

Outside work I enjoy endurance sports and take part in cycling events and surf lifesaving. I have gained my beach lifeguard qualification in 2015.

I consider myself privileged to live in Braunton, in beautiful North Devon, with my husband and 3 daughters of which the youngest is still at home.

In the future I hope we will see the development of a fracture liaison service for osteoporosis patients in North Devon which I plan to help instigate.

Jenny Brown

Jenny-BrownI was born in Devon and was brought up on a dairy farm, my brother still lives in the farmhouse! I was never keen to do farming, though loved the freedom of living on a farm.

I started my training as an Enrolled Nurse in 1971, qualifying 2 years later. I then worked at the NDI, before marrying and moving to Germany for 2 years.

Whilst having my family I worked at various jobs before returning 18 years later via a Back to Nursing course. I was then lucky enough to get a post, straight after my course, on Glossop Ward, which at that time was a care of the elderly ward, under the watchful eye of dear Sister Slee! During my time on Glossop I did an ENB teaching and assessing course, LEO course, Management training, Conversion from 2nd Level to First level Nurse, then a Diploma in Nursing and Health Studies at Plymouth University. I worked on Glossop for 12 years.

When I left to join Rheumatology I was Deputy Ward Manager working in a respiratory speciality ward. I have been with the Rheumatology team ever since!

I have retired from full time work and now work 20 hours per week.

I enjoy travel, walking, reading, Scrabble, art, history, architecture and am extremely interested in art-Deco jewellery!!! I’m embarking on a new adventure this year – as I am getting married on 1/10/16.

Hopefully I will retire completely in March/April 2017, when I hope to travel as much as possible.

Last updated: October 3, 2017