Nominated by: Claudia Krause
Dr Lynne Gilbert has been a passionate proponent and outstanding ambassador for Reproductive Healthcare of the highest quality for 31 years and shows no signs of slowing down. While she could have easily retired several years ago (and returned to a more leisurely pace if so desired), she has continued to work-full time as Clinical Lead for Reproductive Health. She has been innovative on how to maintain the highest quality of training for staff working over a large geographical area. When virtual meetings still seemed unattainable, she devised a monthly Newsletter and a monthly Case Scenario where she shared latest information in contraception and provided food for thought and education to staff working at multiple disparate locations at different times. This highly successful and appreciated scheme has been copied by other specialties within the trust and is read and commented on well beyond its original target audience throughout East Anglia.
Her dedication to making use of the local electronic patient record system by creating comprehensive, yet easy to use templates has helped to further consistent clinical care, as evidenced in outstanding results in local and national contraception audits. These templates have been adopted throughout the trust, covering all East Anglia. They are shortly due to be replaced by a novel interactive version with a didactic element, on which Dr Gilbert is working currently.
As a trainer, she has been often noted often for her outstanding teaching skills. She has also shown exceptional dedication to forward LARC training of all integrated nursing staff within iCaSH Cambridgeshire to the highest standard, resulting in an unusually high percentage of coil fitters among nurses in our area.
Coil fitters employed by iCaSH Cambridgeshire, including nursing staff, are trained in transvaginal ultrasound for device location, thanks to Dr Gilbert. When no suitable national ultrasound course was available, she devised a training scheme herself, including several sessions of theory, practical training with a model and supervised practice with patients. This highly innovative scheme is to be rolled out throughout the trust which covers contraception for East Anglia and other areas north of London. This has been instrumental to trust wide acquisition of new ultrasound machines, which will not provide high quality 3D imaging, but will also facilitate integration of community Gynaecology care into regional services, which is anticipated in the near future in a move to further improve patient care.
While working tirelessly in the above areas she has also been active in various committees, including the trust wide Medicines and Safety Governance Group and the Clinical Systems Standardisation Group, and nationally in the FSRH Clinical Standards Committee, and the Integrated Sexual Health Information Group. Her work ethic and expertise have been exemplary if not unparalleled.
Despite the demands on her time, she has remained a humble and invariably approachable and interested clinician and colleague, passing on her enthusiasm for Reproductive Health without fail.
Throughout the COVID pandemic she has been working tirelessly in adjusting services and providing guidance for best possible care, providing both leadership through advice and example. Despite being in the at high risk for COVID group by age alone, she never missed a day’s work and in fact sacrificed some of her annual leave to help with service bottle necks in reproductive Health.
Dr Lynne Gilbert was born 1954. Before finding her calling medicine, she made a little academic detour with a non-medical undergraduate degree in 1975 from Cambridge. She then spent 5 years at the University of Bristol, first in the Department of Education, then in the Department of Botany, where she studied the green hydra symbiosis.
After a year in the Department of Agricultural Science at Oxford University, she returned to Cambridge where she graduated in Medicine in 1985. She continued to work locally as house surgeon, research assistant, senior house officer, and clinical assistant while also raising a family of three children.
Through the years
In 1990 she became a Clinical Assistant at the Family Planning Clinic in Cambridge. From then on she devoted her professional life to Reproductive Health and Reproductive Health training. She obtained her DFSRH in 1991, when it was still called “Joint Certificate in Contraception”. She has been a registered DFSRH trainer for many years, and a Fellow of the Faculty since 2007.
Through various provider changes and promotions, she finally rose to the rank of Associate Clinical Specialist and became Clinical Lead in Reproductive Health for iCaSH Cambridgeshire in 2010, a position which she holds to this day.
In the meantime, she served 6 years as regional adviser and assessor of the FSRH of the RCOG for the East Anglian Deanery. In 2012 she became a member of the FSRH Clinical Standards Committee, where she also was vice-chair for some time. In 2013 she became a member of the Integrated Sexual Health Information Group and obtained a Postgraduate Award in Education at Keele University.