Gordon's Medical Centre
The School Medical Centre is run by a team of three Registered General Nurses and one administrator.
Its aim is to support the health needs of every student, allowing them to achieve their full potential in all aspects of school life.
Julie Unsworth RGN - Lead Nurse
Julie trained at Southampton University Hospitals Trust in 1990. Her first post was as a Staff Nurse in Respiratory Medicine at Southampton General Hospital. After a gap year travelling Julie returned to London and worked in St Thomas’s Hospital as a Staff Nurse in one of the busiest A&E’s in the country. Next came a relocation to Australia, working in A&E and Cardio-Thoracic ITU in Sydney for some years. In between having three children Julie has worked part-time at Frimley Park A&E, finally joining the Nursing team at Gordon’s in September 2012.
Jenni Beresford RGN MCFHP MAFHP - Nurse
Jenni completed her training at Ashford Hospital qualifying in 1982. Jenni then worked in a variety of areas including general surgery, orthopaedics and ophthalmology. Jenni became deputy sister on an orthopaedic ward in 1985 obtaining a Ward Sister post in 1986 on a general surgical unit. Jenni joined Gordons in 1996. She completed her training as a Foot Health Practitioner in 2009 which enables her to offer foot care at school.
Emma Light RGN - nurse
Emma completed a degree in Health Studies and Social Policy at Roehampton University and after travelling completed nursing training at Southampton University qualifying in 2003. Emma has worked at Frimley Park Hospital for 16 years on the general surgical wards and also at Parkside, a busy private unit looking after adults and children. She has a keen interest in wound care and works as a Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist alongside her role as school nurse at Gordon’s School.
Marie jones – Medical Centre administrator
Originally from Canada, Marie worked as a Customer Account Manager before having her two children. She then trained and worked for ten years as a nutrition consultant. She has an interest in fitness and is a qualified junior Parkrun Run Director. Marie joined Gordon's School in 2017 where she provides administration and pastoral support for the Medical Centre.
The Medical Centre
The Medical Centre is manned between 8.00am and 6.00pm on weekdays, 9.30am and 12.30pm on Saturdays and 9.30 and 11.00am on Parade Sundays. The Medical Centre staff run regular open surgeries throughout the day and are on hand to treat emergencies at all times during the school day. Full and Weekly Boarders have access to a trained nurse outside of these hours via the on-call system, should the need arise.
The Medical Centre houses seven beds in three separate rooms (boys, girls, and isolation) that allow sick students to be accommodated in comfortable surroundings by professional staff, away from their Boarding Houses for short periods of time.
First Aid and immediate Nursing Care is available to Day Boarders taken ill or injured during the school day. However, parents will be contacted and should be available to collect their child if they are considered unfit to return to class. All students have access to a fully qualified counsellor if appropriate. On occasion, the Medical Centre can also provide sanctuary during the school day if students feel overwhelmed by personal problems such as emotional stress or homesickness.
Over the counter medicines are dispensed by the Nurses and other trained members of staff to all students who have returned a completed medical questionnaire and consent form. Care plans are in place for those students who suffer with short and long-term medical conditions to allow each child to reach their potential regardless of illness or disability.
The Medical Centre staff aim to promote good health and sensible lifestyle choices, help to deliver the PSHE programme, and co-ordinate preventative health programmes such as immunisations.
To enable us to provide the best care possible, including the administration of certain ‘over the counter’ medicines, we require a completed medical questionnaire and consent form for every student starting at Gordon’s. Parental consent is then valid throughout your child's time at Gordon's. The Medical Centre should be notified of any updates or changes regarding the students' health.
Seeing a Counsellor at Gordon's
We have three School Counsellors. Each one is here one full day per week. Counselling is available to all students and they can either speak to a teacher or Houseparent to be referred or they can self-refer themselves via the link found on the Deputy Head’s weekly Bulletins.
Michael has been a Counsellor for over ten years, for the past seven years he has worked almost exclusively in schools. He is the Lead Counsellor at a boys' independent school along with his role at Gordon’s. Michael also works in private practice with both young people and adults.
His training and work is from a person centred approach. This is non-directive, meaning the client always chooses what they want to talk about and are able to take things at their pace. He believes in the importance of creating a safe, non-judgemental, respectful space that people can feel comfortable to talk about what they wish.
Outside of his work, he loves many different sports, travelling, cars, food and anything that can combine all of those.
BA Person Centred Counselling (Metanoia Institute)
MSc Applied Psychology (University of Surrey)
BSc Psychology (St Mary’s University)
Accredited Registered member of British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP)
Sam is a person centred counsellor, supervisor and trainer with many years’ experience of working in the public, private, education and voluntary sectors with young people.
In addition to her work at Gordon’s School, she has an independent practice in Teddington (TW11), where she offers both short and long-term counselling to young people and adults, as well as supervision to trainee and qualified health professionals and counsellors. She is also a Primary Tutor on the BA (Hons)/Diploma in Person Centred Counselling at Metanoia Institute.
Making the decision to have counselling is an act of great strength and self-care. Taking time to talk through an aspect of your life with someone who can listen carefully and respectfully to what you are grappling with and work with you to understand this more fully, can bring a sense of relief and a feeling of not being so alone with an issue or concern. Counselling can help you to gain a clearer view of things, which in turn can enable you to make decisions or changes in your life that feel right for you now and in the future.
She believes counselling can be creative and dynamic: it can be drawn, made, built in the sand or images and objects can be found that capture it. When the left side of the brain cannot provide an answer through words and language, we can tap into the resourcefulness of the right side to see what happens.
In her free time, she enjoys walking her dog, singing in a choir and playing cards.
MSc in Clinical Communication Studies (City University)
Diploma in Person Centred Counselling (Metanoia Institute)
BA (Hons) in Person Centred Counselling (Middlesex University)
Conversion Diploma in Adolescent and Schools Counselling (Metanoia Institute)
Diploma in Person Centred Supervision (Metanoia Institute)
Registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Debbie has been working as a School Counsellor at Gordon’s since 2012.
She says: “Counselling offers a safe space where you can talk about anything in your life that’s troubling you or causing you to have difficulty coping. Respect and confidentiality are central to the counselling relationship. Talking with someone who is accepting and supportive can help you clarify those difficult thoughts and feelings. I really enjoy working with young clients, seeing them develop their individual personalities and grow their potential. It’s never easy to seek help from a counsellor, but if a young person has a positive experience of counselling, it can serve as the foundation for their life-long development and help them find their own road-map for life’s journey.”
She qualified as a Counsellor in 2005 and gained her BACP Accreditation in 2009.
As well as her role at Gordon’s, she has worked since 2007 in the Student Counselling Service at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she is a Counselling Caseworker; delivering training workshops to colleagues and workshops on Self-Care and Resilience to the students. More recently, she has taken the role of Online Counsellor supporting British students studying at the University of London Institute in Paris. She has also worked as a Counsellor in GP practices, in an NHS Staff Support Service and for charitable organisations. She runs her own private counselling practice in Sunbury-on-Thames.
Away from work, she enjoys reading, music, art, travel and Formula 1 (watching, not participating!).
Qualifications and Training
BA (Hons) French Studies
Advanced Diploma in Integrative Humanistic Counselling
Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Certificate in Solution Focused Brief Practice
In-depth training in working with young people gained at Off The Record (a youth counselling service based in Twickenham)
Registered and Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
Seeing a Doctor at Gordon’s
The school doctor, Dr Barker, is a local GP who holds a weekly clinic in school for Full and Weekly Boarders.
Dr Barker (BSc MBBS MRCGP, DRCOG) completed a degree in Biological Sciences before studying medicine at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School. She completed her GP training in East Surrey, and joined the West End and Chobham Medical Practice as a part-time partner in 1998.
She enjoys all aspects of family medicine, with a particular interest in paediatrics and women's health.
The usual range of general medical services are also provided by the West End and Chobham Medical Practice. It is therefore imperative that Full Boarders and Weekly Boarders are registered with Dr Barker. This means that Residential Boarders who need to see a doctor outside of term time must register with a local GP as a temporary resident. The contact details for the West End Surgery are:
West End Surgery
Lucas Green Road
Appointments: 01483 480521
Enquiries and Visits: 01483 481323
Fax: 01483 487586
Out of Hours: 01276 857117
Male students may see a male doctor upon request. Residential boarders also have access to a dentist, an orthodontist, foot clinic, asthma clinic, travel clinic and other services deemed appropriate to support their good health.
School policy is for all new Residential Boarding students to have a medical with the school doctor in their first term in order to check and monitor their physical health and well being whilst at school.
Although the Medical Centre staff will always provide emergency treatment during school hours to Day Boarders, it is expected that for routine medical matters their family GP will be consulted.