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London trust celebrates long service of six veteran nurses

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Six nurses, with a combined total of nearly 170 years between them, are among staff who received long service awards from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.

The awards, which took place on 7 December, celebrated nearly 30 members of staff who have each worked at the trust for at least 25 years, clocking up 700 years in total. Among them were the following nurses:

  • Siew Cohen, clinical nurse specialist in diabetic liaison
  • Tina Hemblade, matron, outpatients department
  • Abigail Oyetunji, neonatal unit sister
  • Alex Phillips, matron for neonatal unit
  • Terry Prescott, charge nurse in critical care
  • Sukran Saglam, senior staff nurse, dermatology

Tina Hemblade, from Crawley in West Sussex, has been at Guy’s and St Thomas’ for 34 years. She completed her training at the trust to become a Nightingale Nurse.

Since then, she progressed to ward sister, a clinical nurse specialist for systemic lupus and is currently a matron for the outpatient department.

She said: “The roles for nurses have expanded enormously in the time I’ve been here – there is so much choice now for a young nurse.

“When I was young my ambition was to become a ward sister so I was very proud when I did, knowing that it was my responsibility to make sure patients received good care,” she said.

“I’ve been constantly learning throughout my time here. St Thomas’ was my local hospital as a child so I was always proud to work here and it’s a trust you can be proud to be a part of,” she added.

Meanwhile, Terry Prescott completed his practical nursing training at the trust in 1987 and became a staff nurse in 1991.

“The roles for nurses have expanded enormously in the time I’ve been here”

Tina Memblade

He joined the nursing team in the intensive care unit in 1994 and has remained in critical care ever since, now working as a charge nurse in the trust’s three critical care units. As part of his role, Mr Prescott plans the rota for 350 nursing staff who rotate between the units.

He said: “While technology has moved on a lot, some parts of the job have not changed at all. Looking after patients and their families is our focus and I like meeting them and getting patients on the mend. There is good scope for progression here and I have a whole team of staff now.

“It was really nice to be recognised for my hard work at the event,” he said. “I think I’ll be here until I retire.”

Speaking at the awards, trust chair Sir Hugh Taylor said: “This is our opportunity to thank staff who have achieved such long service for the trust. That great core of experience, expertise and commitment is one of the things that makes this such a fantastic place to work.”

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