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London trust recognises long service of dedicated nursing staff

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A group of 12 nurses and a nursing assistant who have spent most of their careers working for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust are among those honoured for their long service.

They have a combined total of more than 325 years loyal service between them, noted the trust.

“Again and again we meet people who have been in the same job for many years”

Hugh Taylor

In all, 33 clinical and non-clinical staff – who have all worked for the trust for at least 25 years – were recognised for their dedication and commitment at a celebration event last week.

Among them are two specialist nurses – Hortense Prince and Jo Davies.

Ms Prince started training to be a nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1973. She returned to the trust in 1991 as a junior nurse working on various surgical wards and, over the last 27 years, has progressed to specialist senior staff nurse.

Her achievements include help to set up a nurse-led plastic dressing clinic.

“The patients I help care for have a long journey to go through. I really enjoy providing a high quality of care to them and seeing them get better,” said Ms Prince.

She said she had seen many changes at St Thomas’, especially when it came to nurses’ uniforms.

“When I started my training we wore a striped dress, white apron, black tights, lace up shoes, a frilly hat and a cloak – we looked like something out of Call the Midwife,” she noted.

“Now I wear black trainers to work, something I wouldn’t have dared to wear back then,” she said.

Also claiming a long service award was retrieval nurse practitioner Ms Davies who has spent 26 years of her career working in paediatric intensive care at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

She was a member of a pioneering group of senior nurses who undertook the first retrieval nurse practitioner course, and was a driving force behind efforts to ensure family members could accompany loved ones in the ambulance during intensive care transfers.

“I came back from maternity leave and knew that I wouldn’t want to be away from my daughter if she was critically ill,” she said.

“We trialled it at Evelina London and it’s now a national standard that every family is offered a seat in the ambulance if appropriate,” said Ms Davies.

She described how much she loved her job. “It’s a privilege to look after children and their families when they are at their most vulnerable,” she said.

She added: “I’m very lucky to have such a fantastic job – I’m a little cog in a team that makes a child better. The team is a huge part of why I stay.”

The awards were presented by trust chair Sir Hugh Taylor who said long-serving staff members were key to the stability of the organisation.

“Every year when we have this ceremony my heart literally bursts with pride when I hear about the achievements and the different skills people bring from across the trust,” he said.

“Again and again we meet people who have been in the same job for many years,” he said. “It makes a huge difference to the stability of the organisation and the way we care for our patients in the community and beyond.”

Long service awards were presented to:

  • Stephanie Clark, midwifery practice leader
  • Jo Davies, retrieval nurse practitioner
  • Alexander Dodou, nursing assistant
  • Justine Dodson, clinical nurse specialist vascular access
  • Patricia Dovey, advanced nurse practitioner
  • Debbie Mcpherson, midwife practitioner hospital birth centre
  • Simon Mills, emergency nurse practitioner
  • Elizabeth Minett, staff nurse
  • Juliet Nanan, midwifery practice leader
  • Christina Ogbonna-Godfrey, midwifery practice leader
  • Hortense Prince, senior staff nurse
  • Sharon Smith, neonatal staff nurse
  • Susan Whaley, practice development nurse


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