Ms Maxmiller “Maxine” Buyanga

Thesis title: How do organisational and social contexts influence mealtimes on wards caring for the older person aged 65 years and above?

Start year: 2017

Supervisor(s): Dr Helen Aveyard

Maxmiller “Maxine” Buyanga


I have 27 years of nursing experience and have worked in a number of different specialities across a few organisations. I currently work for the Great Western Hospitals NHS Trust in Swindon. My background is Intensive Care Nursing; I commenced at GWH ICU Feb 2003 and left in 2009 following a promotion to a Senior Sister position in another Trust. I moved out of ICU to become a Matron for General surgery and Urology.

In 2012, I returned to GWH as the Front Door Matron covering Emergency Department, Acute Medical Unit, Site Management, Minor Injury Units in the Community, Alcohol Liaison Service and later moving onto Matron for Trauma and Orthopaedics. My most challenging role was being the ICU Matron during the COVID pandemic, though it was challenging, it was also an honour to be able to support staff and serve my community. Soon after the pandemic I moved on to the current Deputy Divisional Director of Nursing role.

Professional Doctorate

I am in the first cohort of the Professional Doctorate Programme at Oxford Brookes. I got to know about the programme when the programme lead came to my NHS Trust to talk about it. I have always wanted to study at this level, I therefore jumped at the opportunity.

Experience on the programme

Initially it was quite daunting as I was moving from being an expert in practice to becoming a novice in research. However, with support from the tutors and colleagues in my cohort I quickly settled in. 

Being part of a cohort has definitely been a massive positive, especially as I was coming back to academia after almost a decade away. The cohort provides a safe platform for discussions with colleagues who have similar interests and challenges. 

One of the challenges is studying whilst working full time. I have been tactical about the way I use my free time, balancing academia, me time and family time. I found that the trick is to continuously chip away at my academic work as it is difficult to have a chunk of time dedicated to this. I therefore try to split my time. For example, I could have the morning on a Saturday before everyone wakes up dedicated to my academic work and then the afternoon spent with my family. Being organised and disciplined is also very important, when I have allocated an hour to do something, I ensure I do use that one hour for the planned work.

I am passionate about evidence based practice, quality improvement and generating nursing based solutions to nursing problems. I felt the DNURs would give me the skills to influence the above passions. I have studied with Oxford Brookes previously at MSc level and the supervision I received then was one aspect that attracted me to study the DNURs programme with the university. The idea of a cohort was quite appealing as it provided contact with like-minded colleagues. It is very important to have this informal group as it acts a source of encouragement when the tough gets going. 

Future plans

I would like to influence the use of research in improving quality of care as well as promoting research career pathways in Nursing.