Lynn Moffat, Breast Nurse Practitioner

Lynn was born and bred in York and on leaving school in 1977 worked as a cadet nurse at the old private hospital, The Purey Cust Nursing Home. Cadet nurses worked alongside trained nurses, making beds, giving out meals and drinks, and assisting with care. Working with nurses, she fell in love with nursing. 

On qualifying in 1981, at The York District Hospital, she worked in orthopaedics and then for 10 years on the gynaecology ward. Working with these women confirmed her preference for surgical nursing and so she started work as a staff nurse on the breast cancer ward. Later in 1996, she became a specialist breast care nurse. 

Lynn told us: ‘When the junior doctors’ hours were reduced in the early nineties we, as a team, lost the support of those doctors so the senior nurses in the team were asked if they were willing to fill that gap. This involved doing specialist training so that we were able to work in diagnostic clinics and, more importantly, in our opinion, to take over the follow up clinics where we were able to give more time to the women than the consultants. This also freed up the consultants to see new patients. We now do a dual role of nurse practitioner in clinics and breast care nurse as well’. 

Lynn was asked how the role of nursing had changed over time.  

‘The role of the nurse has changed significantly since I trained and I think that is partly to do with how the nurses are trained. When I started my nurse training in February 1978, it was very practical based with formal education within that and at the end you came out with a nursing qualification. We were taught and examined on the wards with practical based things and sat an exam at the end of the 3 years. Once qualified and employed and we were equipped to go straight into the job’. 

‘Now the emphasis is more on academia and the student nurses spend more time in the university than on wards and departments. They now come out with a degree qualification and have to have a year’s preceptorship to learn more of the practical skills. Thankfully everything is still patient centred’. 

After all these years, she still loves the job she does and feels it is a privilege to be able to support women, men and their extended families through some very difficult times in their lives. One of our team members with first-hand experience of her care, reported that ‘some patients, and their families, still have clear memories, after many years have passed, of her. When meeting Lynn, as a patient, you always feel reassured by her easy manner, empathy and professionalism. Patients trust Lynn Moffatt’.   


From information supplied by Lynn Moffatt and personal experience.  

Lynn Liddle