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Frontline nurses set to attend reception at Buckingham Palace

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Nurses from across the country have been invited to attend a special reception at Buckingham Palace later today to celebrate the nursing profession.

The Prince of Wales is hosting the reception on behalf of the Queen in order to “thank those engaged in frontline nursing across the United Kingdom”.

“This is a huge honour bestowed on us as representatives of the many nurses across the country”

Sue Smith

Over 350 guests will represent nurses from throughout the profession, from hospitals to general practice to community nursing, nursing homes, and nurses in the armed forces and prisons.

Organisations represented will also include the Royal College of Nursing, the Queen’s Nursing Institute and the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

His Royal Highness is a long-time supporter of the healthcare sector and is patron of several charities that involve and support nurses, including Macmillan Cancer Care and Marie Curie.

In addition, since 2013, he has supported nurses through the Nursing Times Awards and bestows the HRH the Prince of Wales Award for Integrated Approaches to Care.

Meanwhile, the Countess of Wessex, who will also be attending the reception, is patron of the Nursing Memorial Appeal and colonel-in-chief of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps.

Among those planning to go to the event are two members of nursing staff from East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. Xanthe Knowles, deputy head of nursing for medicine, and Lisa Ireland, senior specialist nurse in paediatric audiology, have both been invited to the reception for frontline nurses.

Ms Ireland said: “I am thrilled to be invited to Buckingham Palace. It was a massive surprise to see an envelope on my doormat with a Buckingham Palace crest and the Queen’s postmark on it.”

Ms Knowles added: “What an honour to be invited to such a prestigious event. I was totally surprised but really looking forward to it.”

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust/University of Cumbria

Frontline nurses set to attend reception at Buckingham Palace

Zoe Butler and Lauren Mawson

Three leading nurses from Cumbria have also received a royal invitation to the reception. They are Sue Smith, executive chief nurse at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, Lauren Mawson, principal lecturer from Cumbria University, and newly-qualified nurse Zoe Butler.

Ms Smith has been widely recognised as one of the driving forces behind the transformation of quality, safety and care at Morecambe Bay, in the wake of the high profile maternity failings there.

The trust received an improved overall rating of “good” from the Care Quality Commission in 2017 after previously being rated as “Inadequate” just three years earlier.

She said: “This is a huge honour bestowed on us as representatives of the many nurses across the country engaged in excellent frontline nursing.”

Meanwhile, Ms Butler, who is now working for the trust’s Royal Lancaster Infirmary, previously led the creation of a series of films to raise awareness about mental health while still studying.

“I’ve only been a newly-registered nurse for six months so it is a great honour to be included”

Zoe Butler

The resulting video, titled The Hot Potato, is in use in schools across Cumbria and already has seen an increase in young people accessing primary mental health care in the local area.

She said: “It was a total shock when I received the invitation. I’ve only been a newly-registered nurse for six months so it is a great honour to be included in this celebration.”

An award-winning nurse from the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre has also been invited to the celebration of frontline nursing at the palace.

Sharon Manning, a Macmillan gynae cancer clinical nurse specialist at Glan Clwyd Hospital, has been involved in innovative work to introduce permanent catheters for palliative ovarian cancer patients,

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board/Macmillan

Frontline nurses set to attend reception at Buckingham Palace

Sharon Manning

The service allows patients to drain ascitic fluid from their abdomen at home, rather than in hospital, and means they can spend more time with loved ones during the final stages of their lives.

The innovative Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board service, which is now being rolled out across Wales, has also significantly reduced the number of hospital admissions for patients.

Ms Manning said: “I felt really humbled, and it’s a real honour to be able to represent the health board, Macmillan and our team of cancer nursing specialists.”

But she added: “At the end of the day, our patients are the true heroes, and we do everything we can for them. All of the work we do here is about making life better for them.”


Frontline nurses set to attend reception at Buckingham Palace

Carman Marchidan

Among those attending from the independent sector is Carmen Marchidan, the clinical services manager at the Abbotsleigh Mews Care Home in South East London, which is run by Bupa.

Last month, the Duchess of Cambridge helped launch a new global campaign to raise the profile and status of nursing. She has also become a patron of the initiative, which is called Nursing Now.

Buckingham Palace

Frontline nurses set to attend reception at Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, London

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