I’ve written before about how much Jane – Frances’ ‘family nurse’ – gets through in one of her visits. Yes, there is mother and baby’s wellbeing to think about, but her input goes way beyond the medical. Already Jane has advocated for Frances by challenging the support staff downstairs about the damp in the flat. She then gets on to the hospital and speaks to the nurses looking after Frances’ mum reminding them that Frances, as principal carer, is to be invited to the case meetings to discuss her mum’s after care.
Now, with mug of tea in hand, she is talking to both Frances and Hassan about their ‘dream sheets’. Marvellous.
“What do you want to be doing in three years time? Who will be important in your life? What job will you have? How many children will have?” she asks, reading off the sheet.
“I want to be in college,” says Frances.
“Good,” says Jane.
Frances tells of the brush-off she’s had at the local college. “They told me I can’t re-do my GCSEs because I’ll fail and it’ll be a waste of money.”
Jane is incensed. “Who told you that? The receptionist? That’s unbelievable.” Life chances shattered in a two-minute conversation.
“I want to do my GCSEs so I can go on and do other courses afterwards.”
Jane recalls a special project on the other side of town, an educational programme designed for young people who, for lots of reasons, are unwilling or unable to continue studying at school. And this is what I like about Jane. Within minutes she is making an appointment for Frances to see them next week, to discuss her options. She’s like a fairy godmother.
“How would you get there?” Jane asks. Hassan has a car but it’s off the road just now.
“I can take you,” I offer. At least then I can record another small step, another part of the journey.
That sorted, Jane turns to Hassan. “What do you want to be doing in three years? Do you think you will have a job in three years?”
“He wants to be a trainee bus driver,” says Frances, on his behalf.
“The Metrolink are looking to train drivers for their new line to Droylsden and Oldham… you should look on their website.” Hassan says he will. “Are you happy for Frances to fill it in for you?” asks Jane, holding up his dream sheet. “Aim high. Both of you.”