70 heroes of Surrey's NHS

Celebrating our beloved health service

"Wherever you work in the NHS, you touch people's lives. 

"We have been changing and improving lives in the NHS every day for the last 70 years and whatever the future holds for us, we will continue to do so."  

- Kat Sealey, specialist practitioner school nurse.

On July 5, 70 years ago, leaflets were posted through the letterboxes of households across Britan branded with the simple yet powerful message: "It will relieve your money worries in time of illness."

It was the historic moment the National Health Service came into being and when wealth and class no longer defined whether a person was able to receive health care.

It's safe to say our beloved health service has endured turbulent times but its dedicated staff work tirelessly around the clock to provide life-saving treatment to the young and old, from the Scottish Highlands and Cornwall coast to the bustling capital and the Yorkshire countryside.

From consultants, ward sisters, paramedics and pharmacists to security guards, physiotherapists, mental health nurses and volunteers, there are countless people working behind the scenes to ensure the public receives the best health care there is to offer.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, meet just 70 of the thousands of heroes to whom we owe thanks.

Brett Lee

Brett Lee, Security Officer and Helipad Operations Officer, Frimley Park Hospital

Brett Lee has worked at Frimley Park since 2005, initially as a porter before being offered the chance to join the security team.

When he heard about the extra opportunity to train as a firefighter for the hospital's emergency helicopter landing pad he jumped at it.

One moment he could be managing car parks and traffic flows, the next he could be on the roof beside the helideck, ready to respond to any mishaps and help offload a casualty from the air ambulance into the emergency department below.

Victoria Peace, Community Matron, Dorking Community Medical Team, CSH Surrey

"Throughout my career I have worked in some of the poorest, most deprived areas and some of the most affluent, wealthiest locations," said Victoria.

"I've looked after sex workers, drug addicts and patients who have been knighted - the NHS is accessible to everyone who needs it."

Victoria Peace has a 24-year nursing career and three years ago found herself on the receiving end when her then five-year-old son was rushed to A&E.

He almost fell into a coma and was subsequently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

She describes her whole experience, from walking through the A&E doors to her son's regular appointments as "gold standard care".

“I work with fantastic people, including GPs, care coordinators, mental health practitioners, social workers and physiotherapists," she said.

"I have a real admiration for what the NHS does and will never forget the nurse who put her hand on my knee when my son was at his worst, and told me everything would be okay.”

Carole Melody, Head of Finance, Surrey Downs CCG

"The NHS belongs to the nation and everyone thinks they know how it can be fixed, but on the inside you realise just how complex the industry is; the constant asks of all areas of the service," said Carole.

“All the while we have to try to remain within budget by improving efficiencies in every process and system, some of which are more successful than others. 

"It is a major juggling act. Every day is different and challenging but I love it – most of the time!”

Ricky Powell, Paramedic and Operational Team Leader, South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust

Ricky Powell was one of the first to become a paramedic in the 1980s.

He joined the Surrey Ambulance Service in 1984 and is now an operational team leader with South East Coast Ambulance Trust, based in Chertsey.

"That first year was memorable and as a young ambulance man I was faced with many situations for the first time," he reflected.

"There were no paramedics then but some did have intubation and infusion skills and cardiac skills. We had to raise money to buy heart monitors and equipment, also relying on donations from charities such as the Lions Club.

"We never even had a patient transport service then, and any emergencies that came in were dealt with in between dropping off at day hospitals and transfers."

Ricky spent most of his time at Ashford ambulance station and worked there during the ambulance dispute of 1989.

"Thinking back, I was amazed by the public's generosity and support from other colleagues during that six month period," said Ricky.

In the late 1980s came the introduction of paramedic training and Ricky became one of the first paramedics to do the NHSTA course. This combined the intubation, infusion and cardiac course into one and trained staff in extra skills such as drug therapy and advanced airway management.

“I have seen many changes since the early days," he continued.

"But one thing that never seems to change is the spirit of the staff and their comradeship and dedication."

Floyd Jones, Porter at Epsom & St Helier Hospitals

Floyd has worked at the Trust since 2011 working in the Endoscopy Unit at St Helier Hospital.

"I love working in the caring industry and I am very chatty, so I enjoy meeting new people and being able to lift patients’ spirits - I even sing to the patients sometimes," said Floyd.

"When patients come back to the hospital whether they are visiting or readmitted, and they remember me - it makes me feel I have done a good job and left a good impression.​

"NHS 70 also shares the same anniversary year as Empire Windrush.

"I feel that it's important to also acknowledge and remember this as the passengers on board the Windrush were invited to come to Britain after World War II, to assist with labour shortages including nurses

Bobb Jackson, Midwife at Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

In charge of the antenatal ward at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Bobb first joined the NHS in 1990.

Bobb laughed as she spoke of how her appetite to enter into midwifery came about: "Let's just say I have seven brothers and three sisters."

Bobb herself is the mother of a three-year-old and she found having a baby in the maternity department in which she works very interesting.

Experiencing the department as a patient, she said the level of care was excellent and the maternity department, which is rated 'outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission, "left no stone unturned" - which she knew was not simply because she worked there.

Bobb said despite having done her job for so many years she still feels moved by the sound of a baby’s heartbeat.

“It’s the most magical sound on earth and I still get goosebumps despite hearing it every day for all these years."

Hannah Hordle, Speech & Language Therapist, Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Speech and language therapist Hannah’s mum is a nurse and her grandma was also a speech therapist. 

"I always knew I wanted to work with people and do something to help people feel better," she said. 

"I thought becoming a therapist would be rewarding and it really is."

The role of speech and language therapist is varied, but broadly they help assess and treat communication and swallowing problems, for example after stroke. 

Hannah runs voice clinics, helping people such as teachers and singers overcome voice difficulties. 

One of her proudest moments was getting a teacher back to work with the ability and confidence to teach again.

“There are many moments of pride in my job. Knowing I can help people achieve the small things – overcoming swallowing difficulties to enjoy their morning toast again – is what it’s all about for me.”

Andy Brown, Volunteer with Hospital Radio Wey

It's not just clinical staff who make a big difference to patients in hospital; the power of music also has its part to play! 

Volunteer and presenter Andy Brown, from Radio Wey at St Peter’s, has been playing requests for 30 years and has seen a lot of change. 

"From the days when we had everything on vinyl through to CDs, cassettes and now online streaming – keeping ahead of the technologies is quite a challenge," he said. 

Apart from his love of radio Andy is a huge fan of the NHS. 

“We should all be so proud; it’s a national institution, long may it continue.”

Want a listen? Click here to check out Hospital Radio Wey online.

Debbie Weller, Associate Nurse Practitioner, Adult Eating Disorders Day Services, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Debbie works in a day service for people with eating disorders which is run by Surrey and Borders Partnership at Farnham Hospital and Centre for Health.

Debbie was unexpectedly put under the spotlight as one young person shared how Debbie had helped her turn her life around in a Channel Four dispatches documentary last year - entitled Wasting Away: the truth about eating disorders, which aired last summer and was presented by newsreader Mark Austin and his daughter Maddy Austin.

To watch the documentary and Debbie's life saving work, click here.

Josephine Reynolds, Community Parkinson's Nurse Specialist, CSH Surrey, based at The Poplars clinic near Epsom

"What I love most about working in the community is meeting patients in their own homes and their families," said Josephine.

"It helps in understanding patients and in creating a holistic approach to patient care."

Josephine has worked for the NHS for 33 years, including roles as a surgical staff nurse, community staff nurse, district nursing sister and neurological specialist nurse.

In her role as Parkinson's nurse specialist, she enjoys meeting patients and carers, explaining Parkinson's and how medication helps.

"To see the impact of my involvement is so rewarding - it can transform the life of someone who has previously been struggling to cope," she said.

Dr Rashind Mahmood, Specialist Registrar working in the Senior Adult Medical Services unit at St Peter's Hospital

"I started working in the NHS in 2006," said Rashind. 

"I wanted to be an engineer originally I then quickly changed my mind and decided to go into medicine and do my training in England in the NHS, as it was by far the best compared to America or Canada.

"There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a patient you are caring for get better it's an immense feeling and why I love my job and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else!"

Dr Russell Hills, GP and Partner at ICP Fitznells Manor Surgery, Ewell and Clinical Chair of Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Inspired by a clinician from his training days, Doctor Russell Hills has made the switch from surgeon to GP.

"I always wanted to be that man: tolerant, understanding and thoughtful," he said.

“A GP needs to be a kind of advocate with the ability to steer people in the right direction. 

"I've had patients who don’t know that I’m gay, say homophobic things to my face and the challenge lies in looking after them as a person while listening to them repeat things they think it’s okay to say.

“It’s no different to doctors and nurses in A&E who’ve had people question their accents and origins and ask if they’re qualified. But I have a responsibility to provide care to my patients and I tend to give them a fair bit of leeway, but there is a line."

“On the other hand, now I can be more open about who I am it draws a whole load of people to see me who wouldn’t necessarily have seen me before, and those I thought might have had a problem with it are completely fine - I have 95 year-old patients asking after my husband, which is nice.

“In the end it’s about people having tolerance and respect for all the different individuals working in the health system, without whom we wouldn’t be able to function.”

Elaine Edwards – Lead Nurse for Palliative & End of Life Care at Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

"I love my job," said Elaine, who is the lead nurse for palliative and end of life care.

She joined the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust team as a clinical nurse specialist in 2004.

Elaine began her career in nursing in 1990 when she trained as a nurse at the Mid-Downs Health Authority, Wealden College for Nurses in Crawley. Since she qualified in 1993 Elaine has had a long career in the NHS working in acute medicine, gynaecology and palliative care.

"I would advise anyone who is considering a career in nursing that it is very rewarding job and you really can make a difference to the people you care for."

Alan Smart

Alan Smart, Community First Responder, South East Coast Ambulance Trust

The scale of the commitment shown by Fleet and Church Crookham Community First Responder (CFR), Alan Smart is clear to see.

In fact, since becoming a CFR in August 2013, he has responded to more than 2,000 emergencies.

With 35 years’ experience as a volunteer with St John Ambulance, Alan was keen to put his skills to good use. 

He has contributed a huge amount of time serving his local community and was recently involved in a successful resuscitation of a local man, who went on to make a full recovery.

In addition, his pastoral support to the scheme and local staff is highly valued.

Maureen Cebreiro, Staff Nurse, Margaret Laurie House, Reigate, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Maureen is the staff nurse at Margaret Laurie House, a mental health rehabilitation unit in Reigate which helps people gain life skills to live independently.

She is also one of Surrey and Borders Partnership's longest-serving employees and this year will have completed 42 years of continuous NHS service.

She leads her team with a great sense of humour and a clear focus on delivering excellent support that helps the team stay motivated and to work confidently under her leadership.

Despite having a large number of duties, Maureen is always seen on the floor throughout the day and takes the time to promote education and progression amongst the team.

Lee, who has worked in the Trust for over 25 years, said of her: "Under Maureen's management I look forward to coming to work each day".

Lynn English, Outpatients Coordinator, Ashford Hospital

Lynn has been a familiar face at Ashford Hospital for 26 years, starting as a domestic and then working as ward clerk until she began her current role in the outpatients department.

"I really wanted to be a midwife," Lynn said, "but because of my dyslexia that wasn't possible. I like being around patients, caring for them, making sure that they have the best experience and that's what I’ve been doing for the past 26 years.

“I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done with the NHS; they have been really accommodating particularly when my children were young. I hope it can keep improving.”

Lynn was chairman of the Ashford Stroke Klub for over 20 years. Her dream job was to be a hairdresser – she nearly qualified but fell in love and gave it up. The NHS’s gain!

Dr David Fluck, Consultant Cardiologist and Medical Director at Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Doctor David Fluck says he has cardiology in his blood.

"My father was a cardiologist in the 1970s, the era of intervention when new life-saving techniques such as bypass surgery, angioplasty and pacemakers were being introduced," David said.

"As a child I met pioneering transplant surgeons Sir Terence English and Sir Magdi Yacoub, and much of my early life revolved around my father's work, like visiting the wards on Christmas Day and watching him carve the turkey."

One of five siblings, David and his two brothers and one of his sisters are all fellows of the Royal College of Physicians. However his younger sister, the 'rebel' of the family, became a lawyer.

"Things have changed a lot since then," continues David.

"From developing new treatments, we’ve moved to making sure these interventions are as reliable, consistent and safe as possible.

"Importantly there is more focus on disease prevention; for example, if we reduced salt content by 10% in cereal and bread, we would lower the population blood pressure and reduce the incidence of stroke by 40% in 5 years.

"We are also bringing together health and social care, looking more holistically at people’s health; from the first 1,000 days and its impact on someone’s whole life, to the last 1000 days, making every day count."

“Overall it’s been so much fun, in medicine you work with a team. As the NHS has grown so that team has grown, expanding from just the hospital team in the 1970s, to a much wider team all working together.”

Peter Melinn, Housekeeping Assistant, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Peter is 60-years-old and works at Royal Surrey County Hospital as a housekeeping assistant.

This involves cleaning most wards and clinical areas including sterile units, A&E, operating theatres, special baby care unit and the intensive care unit.

Peter is well respected and a familiar face around the wards amongst patients and staff. Peter is very aware of the importance of hygiene which he says both patients and staff quite rightly expect.

Guildford born and bred, Peter used to be a fishmonger.

He is often requested by wards and enjoys visiting wards with dementia patients and says his presence in the unit often lightens their mood.

Delia Sworm, MacMillan Skin Cancer Nurse Specialist, St Luke's Cancer Centre, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Delia has over 14 years’ experience working in specialist oncology centres, including the Royal Marsden Hospital in London and Sutton.

Delia said she often thinks about other countries, particularly developing countries, and feels blessed at what the UK and NHS have to offer in terms of a good health service with good clean water and a good level of care for patients.

Diane Weir, Lead Midwife for Inpatient Services at Epsom Hospital.

Diane has been working for Epsom and St Helier Hospitals for three years but in the NHS for 33.

"I completed my midwifery training at Kingston Hospital and have also worked at St George's as a Senior Midwife and Queen Mary’s Roehampton as a nurse," she explains.

"The NHS is the only organisation that I have ever worked for and I am still here!

"I think the NHS is an important part of our community that is utilised by everyone and is a service that provides great care.

"I enjoy being able to support women and being part of this amazing aspect of life. Sometimes you see the women that you have supported again with their second pregnancy and it is really rewarding to hear them speak about their positive experience.

"It’s a great job and being a midwife is so much more than just delivering babies!"

Ben Hill, Head of Urgent and Integrated Care, Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Groups

Life in the Emergency Department definitely has its fair share of challenges, not least the management of A&E waiting times over some of the worst winters on record for the NHS.

"As a former matron, leading a team of 100 nurses, I've experienced some of the most challenging winters," said Ben.

"Trying to lead the emergency floor through that - ensuring the wellbeing of your team, while trying to recover four hour performance and handover delays - was extremely difficult.

"But this was before the joined-up system approach to winter. Now we, as commissioners, work with all providers to ensure better flow of patients and to effect a reduction in delays."

Kate Upshorn - Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist, Skin Cancer/Oncology, Royal Surrey Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Kate's role is sponsored by Macmillan and their grants go towards providing specialist nurses in hospital to treat cancer and increasing education.

Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer group and one of the most aggressive types to spread.

One of the youngest patients Kate dealt with was a 12-year-old girl and she says anybody can be vulnerable to a melanoma, which can be anywhere.

Kate has encountered them under fingernails, in the lining of the mouth and on the scalp underneath the hair. Kate talks of her work passionately and says she feels honoured to be in the lives of such inspiring patients and families.

Mili Doshi

Mili Doshi MBE, Consultant in Special Care Dentistry at Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust in Redhill

The amazing work Mili Doshi has initiated was formally recognised in Her Majesty The Queen's Birthday Honours this year.

This honour is a well-deserved recognition of Mili's exceptional commitment to improving the oral health of vulnerable patients including her innovative Mouth Care Matters programme.

The national success of Mouth Care Matters is tribute to Mili's energy and focus on meeting the complex oral health needs of adult patients in hospital - allowing them to eat, speak and socialise without discomfort or embarassment.

Mili whose clinical areas of specialist interest are improving dental care and access for all groups of special care patients as well as anxiety management.

And if that wasn't enough to celebrate, she also has a range of experience including teaching on the undergraduate pain and anxiety clinic at the Royal London Hospital for nine years.

Mili who has worked at the trust since 2014 also works at the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability and is incoming president for the British Society of Gerodontology.

Lucy Moreton, Primary Care Workforce Tutor, North West Surrey CCG

An A&E nurse for many years both in the UK and US, Lucy said: "The knowledge and skills of those working on the front line now is just astounding."

Having to pay for health insurance while living in Florida made her realise just how fantastic it is to have a health service available to all and based on clinical need, rather than the ability to pay.

As Lucy put it: “I often joke that my daughter, who suffers with multiple food allergies and anaphylaxis, would have bankrupted us if we had still lived there when she came along!”

Luke Burton, Programme Manager, Surrey Heartlands

A relatively new convert to the NHS, joining from Surrey County Council in 2017, Luke works with clinicians from across the county on different areas of healthcare –heart problems for example – encouraging people to work more closely together to improve services so local people get better care. 

"Clinicians don't have the time to focus on this sort of improvement work themselves," said Luke. 

“They are busy looking after patients. It’s my job to get them together so we can work with patients and local people to design better services. This is about making sure local services are as good as they possibly can be.”

Claire O'Donoghue, Art Psychotherapist, Abraham Cowley Unit, Chertsey, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Art therapists work with people to use art to express their feelings. Claire has brought people together to contribute to a giant collage for our new building at Farnham Road Hospital.

Staff and people who use services designed trees and mandalas to embody the themes of inclusion and hope. Those who took part described it as a positive, unifying, experience.

More than 600 images are now on display in the hospital reception area and will have lasting impact.

All this was only possible thanks to Claire's vision and determination, greatly helped by her gentle yet persuasive manner in encouraging people to get involved.

Emma Wilkinson, Consultant SAMS Unit, Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (St Peter's Hospital)

"I qualified in 2001 and for long as I can remember I wanted to be a doctor, my parents were doctors, and my grandfather, and my granny was a nurse.

"It's always been in our blood. I was told at school by someone I wasn’t clever enough and that just made me more determined.

"The biggest thing that has changed since I started in the NHS is morale and patients’ perspectives towards NHS staff.

"This is making another turn around and steps are being made to try and capture some of the old ways of working and thinking about the NHS.

"None of us do it for money as we could all make more money doing another job.

"We do it because we love it and we want to make a difference to people’s lives and to care for them."

Jacky Glover, Practice Manager, Southview Medical Practice, Woking

Jacky Glover is the practice manger at Southview Medical Practice in Woking. She's not a bureaucratic office worker, she says, as her 41 years in the NHS began in 1977 when she started training to become a nurse. 

Thirteen years later she gained the practice manager diploma but has not lost her patient focused view of the NHS.

"Probably the greatest change I have seen in general practice is the birth of GP practice federations," she said.

"In North West Surrey all 42 practices have federated which means they can work better together for our patients.

“Time was when individual practices were very insular by nature but now they are able to work jointly – and that benefits our patients most of all.”

Georgina Frith, third-generation pharmacist, Dorking

Georgina Frith who is carrying on the family business for the third generation, explains how it all started in 1928 when her granddad George Frith opened his first pharmacy.

"My grandfather died before I was born, but I do remember soaking labels off of glass pill bottles in the dispensary aged around five and filling up from the super-scary cellar," she said.

"But most of all I remember the smell of the pharmacy that clung to my mother's overall as she put me to bed after work."

Georgina was never in any doubt about where her future lay. 

“I never questioned my career path - I told my headmistress of the local village primary school that I was going to be a pharmacist long before I could spell it.

“From days when you could purchase Frith Pharmacy’s hand cream, and our own compounded pills and potions for all manner of ailments, to the array of medicines available today, Friths has been a central hub for health wellbeing and first port for local people, avoiding many a trip to the doctor.”

Her father, Michael Frith, added: “Change over the years has been for the better.

"From the days of making up medicines and giving a bit of advice we now have a level of medicines expertise that is in excess of what we ever expected. 

"We have a pharmacy here to be proud of."

Diana Moran

Diana Moran, former Green Goddess and patient representative, Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Diana may be a familiar face to many on screen but she is also a tireless supporter of the NHS.

The former Green Goddess who was the ultimate fitness guru in the 1980s and is now a member of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals’ Patient Panel – a group of people who act as the "eyes and ears" of the hospital. 

"My work as the Green Goddess was all to do with people’s wellbeing so it seemed an obvious thing to help in some small way," said Diana.

"When I joined 15 years ago, I was already involved with Age UK and the major cancer charities, having had breast cancer 30 years ago. 

"Now I’m a little older and wiser, I wanted to give something back in the field of expertise I know.”

The NHS relies on patient representatives like Diana to help improve the experience for patients, whether it’s in hospital, in community settings or even local GP surgeries.

“We’re able to talk to patients in a gentle way, listen to what matters to them and feedback to the hospital," she continued. 

"We’ve done a tasting of hospital food, I’ve written a leaflet on how to avoid falls and I’ve been a patient adviser for the Bedser Hub in Woking - a brilliant concept for older people where everything is under one roof.”

Diana who is nearing her 80th birthday has a deep appreciation of the NHS. 

“It makes me angry when people don’t turn up for appointments or take their medicines," she adds.

"The NHS is a truly valuable institution and we all need to appreciate it, young and old.”

Geoff Thiselton, Extended Scope Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, CSH Surrey

Geoff has 18 years' NHS service, which has seen him work up through all the grades within physiotherapy. 

Geoff feels that by working in the community, you get to understand the patient and appreciate the psychosocial factors that have an impact on their lives, which helps to improve the treatment and care given to them.

What he says he loves most about his job – helping patients and the buzz of self-fulfilment.

Shirley Spooner, Senior Community Staff Nurse, Dorking District Nursing Team, CSH Surrey

"When I wear my uniform each day, I am representing a group of people who are linked to such names as Florence Nightingale and I feel enormous pride," said Shirley.

Shirley has worked for the NHS for 41 years and is due to retire soon before starting a new chapter as part of mid Surrey's Community and Hospice Home Nursing Service.

Shirley remembers the pride when, just 18, she attended the annual service of remembrance for Florence Nightingale at Westminster Abbey.

Now nearing the end of her nursing career, life has come full circle, with Shirley attending Westminster Abbey again to celebrate NHS70.

"I feel very lucky to get one of the tickets, and I will feel exactly the same pride wearing my nursing uniform all these years on."

Phil Boulter, Consultant Nurse for people with learning disabilities, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Phil Boulter is the professional lead for more than 100 learning disability nurses in Surrey has an honorary lecturing role in learning disability nursing at University of Kingston and University of London’s joint medical school.

Phil was involved when Surrey was among the first counties in the country to establish liaison nurses across all its public prisons, acute hospitals and GP surgeries. 

Even as a support worker more than 40 years ago, Phil worked to change practices for the better, taking residents of Surrey’s long stay institutions for their first holidays and fighting for their rights to individual belongings, toiletries and food – basic rights we take for granted today.

Jonathan Warren, Acting Chief Executive, said; "Phil is passionate about removing health inequalities for people who have a learning disability – who still sadly can live around 20 years less than average – and is one of the nation’s experts in his field."

Phil has won several accolades for his contribution to learning disability nursing. These include an Outstanding Nurse Leader award from The Nursing Times in 2014, where judges described him as: “A passionate supporter of learning disabilities nursing, Phil has led work on improving care for people with learning disabilities in acute settings.

"If you need advice on learning disabilities, Phil is the person to call.”

 In 2016 he and a team of Consultant Nurses from across the country was honoured at the RCNi Nursing Awards for their Health Equalities Framework (HEF) tool, a simple yet effective rating system to identify health inequalities in people with learning disabilities, as well as their causes and what can be done to tackle them, in order to improve overall health outcomes – and overall life expectancy.

Internationally, Phil has led work to establish partnerships to disseminate good practice (for example working with student nurses from Finland for over a decade now).

Phil is well respected by those he mentors and is a Foundation Trust Governor, representing the interests of all qualified nursing staff in Trust decision making.

Joyce Sims, Infection Control and Inpatient Physical Health Nurse, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Joyce is a dual-trained general nurse and mental health nurse who consistently goes above and beyond to ensure that the physical health needs of people who use mental health services are met. 

Joyce has worked collaboratively with colleagues in Surrey's five general hospitals to hold a 'Treat as One’ conference in March 2018. 

The conference brought together mental health and acute hospital staff to discuss how to respond to people’s physical and emotional needs.

Natasha Lea, Physiotherapist at Walton and Woking Community Hospitals, CSH Surrey

"Although we are each only one person, each of us has a large part to play, whether that is seeing patients face-to-face or behind the scenes completing administration roles," says Natasha. 

"It provides me with great job satisfaction to know I am helping to keep the NHS going."

Natasha has been a Physiotherapist for three years and feels proud to be part of such a big institution that helps thousands of people every day. 

She loves meeting different people from all backgrounds. 

She loves seeing the changes in her patients' mobility, helping them achieve their goals, and being a part of the last step in a patient’s journey before they return back home.

Dr Claire Fuller, GP and Senior Responsible Officer for Surrey Heartlands

"When I was 12-years-old my headmaster told me I should be a doctor," said Claire.

"I thought: 'Well my GP down at the Parade Surgery in Epsom always has a cup of coffee and a biscuit and wears short skirts, so that would be okay!'"

After training at St Mary's, Claire returned to Epsom where she finished her GP training and became a partner.

Claire isn't the first of her family to enter the medical profession - her grandad was a GP in Peterborough during the war.

“He was unable to fight because of a club foot so he stayed home and delivered all the babies in Peterborough - there was a whole generation of boys named Geoffrey after him," she said.

"When the NHS began he became the regional medical officer - apparently he wasn't convinced about it and wanted to keep a close eye on things!"

Claire’s aunt trained at the Royal Free Hospital when it was still unusual for women to become doctors before she became a GP in Ely, where she still lives.

Claire is now senior responsible officer for Surrey Heartlands, a partnership of local health and care organisations working together in a new way.

“The NHS needs to change for my children’s generation,” said Claire.

“In our 70th year we need to look ahead to the next 70, so our children and grandchildren continue to enjoy the benefits of this fantastic institution where care is free at the point of delivery.

"I look forward to the future with enthusiasm and optimism."

Suman Shrestha, Intensive Care Nurse, Frimley Park Hospital

Suman has spent most of his 17 year nursing career in the intensive care department at Frimley Park and spearheads the hospital's fight against sepsis.

He was the first advanced critical care practitioner (ACCP) in the south-east to be granted associate membership of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, the governing body for intensive care doctors.

He is a professional lead for acute, emergency and critical care for the Royal College of Nursing, sits on the NHS England Cross-System Sepsis Board and is chairman of the United Kingdom Critical Care Nursing Alliance.

Janice Clark, Volunteer, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Janice gives up her time to join many of the trust's carer involvement groups, Janice is an excellent advocate for mental health carers and is exceptionally knowledgeable about carers' rights. 

She has applied her expertise to improve many practices including developing a new care pathway to help identify carers of those receiving home treatment; making sure young carers are identified and involved in care planning; and taking a pivotal role in developing the 'Surrey Care Prescription’ to help carers access support.

David Price, Volunteer Press Officer, Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

David Price has been a volunteer in the communications department at ASPH for five years. It began, as he admits, "because my wife wanted to get me from under her feet for at least one day a week".

He has a long association with the NHS. 

He said: “I was 11 when the NHS came into being. It was an important event in our house because my father was a GP in industrial South Wales.”

David didn’t follow him but trained as a journalist and later worked in industrial communications before joining the Department of Health and Social Security as a senior press officer in 1976. 

When the department was split in two, he opted to stay with health and was subsequently chief press officer for six years before leaving on further promotion to the Department of Energy.

He retired from the Civil Service in 1996 and was appointed Frimley Park Hospital’s first professional communications manager. 

After retiring from Frimley in 2003, he worked as a self-employed communications consultant for Guildford and Waverley PCT, and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust before finally giving up paid consultancy in 2012.

Abigail Maybank, Specialist Paediatric Dietitian, CSH Surrey as part of Children and Family Health Surrey

"I enjoy working somewhere different every day and being able to meet such a variety of different people," said Abigail.

Abigail, who has worked in the NHS for three years, said she wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. 

For Abigail it’s about supporting ordinary people like herself, who rely on the service to be able to live the healthiest and most fulfilled lives.

A typical day can be quite varied, from running a community clinic, going out on home visits, to visiting specialist schools, and lots of paperwork. 

Most of all, Abigail enjoys the opportunity to work with children and finding the right nutritional plan for them.

Raja Mukherjee

Dr Raja Mukherjee, consultant psychiatrist, FASD Clinic, Redhill, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Raja Mukherjee runs the NHS's only clinic of its kind in Oxted.

He uses his own assessments, and those from other professionals, to diagnose foetal alcohol spectrum disorders - learning disabilities created before birth which are caused by a mother drinking during pregnancy.

The families that attend the clinic are often impressed with the rigour of his assessments and take great comfort in his comprehensive insight into the implications of a diagnosis on each individual. 

A mum who attended the clinic with her adoptive daughter recently blogged about her positive experiences and tweeted her daughter’s words of appreciation: "You are very kind to children. You help children who have problems. Thanks for helping me."

“Raja’s energy is infectious and he has gathered a group of professionals around him that support his work and share his enthusiasm," said Jonathan Warren, acting chief executive.

"Alongside colleagues he has helped set up the first professional network in the UK for FASD to improve training and knowledge about the subject.

“Raja’s clinic attracts referrals from all over the country, and he works tirelessly to develop and expand it. 

"His expertise has become recognised nationally and internationally for the excellent work that it does to improve our understanding and recognition of these preventable conditions.”

Bryonie Walsh, Occupational Therapist, Mole Valley Community Mental Health Recovery Service, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

It is recognised that finding meaningful activities can help people recover from, or live better with, mental ill-health. 

As an occupational therapist, Bryonie set up a volunteering group for people accessing community mental health services, teaming up with local primary schools and community organisations – including the Prosper Community Interest Development Company - with support from her NHS and social service colleagues. 

The group took on a variety of hands-on projects including excavating school ponds, building a celtic roundhouse for a school in Dorking and their most recent project, building an outdoor learning ecolodge. 

Taking part has helped people to develop skills, build their confidence and make new friends. Members have gone on to pursue more volunteer work, return to work and be discharged from mental health services.

Caroline Given, Catering Manager at Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Caroline Given, catering manager at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) joined SASH in 2008.

Caroline oversees the SASH catering team who also run the hospital restaurant, including, chefs; kitchen porters; catering assistants and all of the Three Arches Restaurant staff. Collectively they prepare more than 2000 meals a day and ensure that patients are fed and hydrated.

Caroline's team also prepare tailored meals to support individual dietary requirements and serve coffee, tea and soft drinks to every patient on each ward, three times a day.

Caroline said: "I have an amazing team who constantly surprise me with their dedication and hard working ethos, no matter the challenge they always come up trumps."

Karl Dewey, Security Officer, Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Part of the trust’s portering and security department, Karl’s job is all about making sure patients and staff at the trust remain safe. From managing difficult situations in A&E, patrolling the Trust’s grounds and car parks making sure all is well, to helping colleagues with smaller problems like finding their car keys, there is never a dull moment in Karl’s day.

Sally Greensmith, Pharmacist

Sally has been a pharmacist for nearly 40 years. She is a fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and has worked in hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy and primary care.

Currently chairman of the NHS England local network for pharmacy (across Surrey and Sussex), she also leads a national training programme for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in care homes and still works occasionally as a locum pharmacist in Godalming.

"Providing person-centred care or helping other pharmacy professionals do the same has always been my focus and I'll carry on until I stop making a difference!" she said.

Shashi Irukulla, Consultant Bariatric Surgeon, Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Joining the NHS in 2003 from his previous role in Australia, Shashi Irukulla has been inspired by wanting to make a different to patients’ health. 

Practising as a consultant bariatric surgeon, a specialist service run by the trust, Shashi describes the biggest changes he’s witnessed over the years as the evolution of health education and the decentralisation of the NHS. 

Workforce has always remained one of his biggest challenges. In terms of the future, Shashi wants to see adequate funding along with the right measures of efficiency, and real equity in patient care across the country.

Claire Nelson, Consultant Nurse for Older People & Frailty at Frimley Park Hospital

Claire Nelson is Frimley Park's consultant nurse for older people and frailty. She is responsible for leading and developing person-centred acute care for older people living with frailty, their carers and families.

While working at a strategic level with consultant geriatricians and others involved in caring for the growing older adult population, she spends half her time managing complex clinical cases, promoting best practice and supporting colleagues. 

As part of the hospital’s frailty liaison team she is often in the emergency department or supporting people living with frailty throughout the hospital or the community.

"I started on my journey to becoming a consultant nurse because I was inspired by a former colleague in that role," Claire said. 

"Anyone with ambition, drive, passion and a desire to improve clinical practice can become a consultant nurse with the right support, training and experiences."

Claire began her career in 2001 as a staff nurse at Wexham Park, Slough, progressing to ward manager. She completed a masters degree in advanced clinical practice in 2013 leading to a variety of positions in local trusts including community matron and advanced nurse practitioner. 

Three years ago she began a three-year consultant practitioner trainee programme through Health Education England Thames Valley, specialising in frailty.

Donald Heinrich, Emergency Medical Advisor Team Leader, South East Coast Ambulance Trust

Donald lives in Dorking, and has been working in the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust control room for three years.

His job is answering 999 calls, dispatching ambulances and supervising teams of call-takers.

He came to the job in his 50s after a varied and very different career: teacher and journalist in Paris, ski holiday rep in the Alps and travel manager in the UK.

"I felt like a complete change and wanted to do something more rewarding," he said, "so I left my winter sports travel business and have never looked back. The support and dedication of my colleagues is something I have never experienced before."

Ian Shrimpton, Dental Technician, Ashford Hospital

Ian works in the Maxillo-Facial and Orthodontic Laboratory at Ashford Hospital, working on children's orthodontic appliances, such as braces. 

Ian has worked at Ashford Hospital for 25 years and is chairman of the Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals’ Employee Partnership Forum which comprises union and other employee representatives looking after staff interests. 

Ian said: "I thoroughly enjoy my role in the forum. I get to see and listen to all aspects of hospital working, supporting staff and getting involved in what matters to them."

Sue Sexton, Divisional Chief Nurse for Theatres, Anaesthetics, Surgery & Critical Care, Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals

Sue has devoted her entire career to Ashford and St Peter’s, training at Ashford Hospital and qualifying as a nurse in 1979. 

"I’ve been really lucky to have had the opportunity to develop my career here, doing lots of different nursing roles without having to leave and come back," said Sue.

Sue is currently responsible for the nursing care in the trust’s 15 theatres, surgical wards, admissions lounge as well as the ophthalmology department at Ashford.

Passionate about the excellent care the trust provides, Sue has recently had a knee replacement at St Peter’s Hospital and is gently pedalling (in the gym not on the road) through a 14-month recovery period.

Michelle Lutchman, Medical Secretary, Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals

Based at Ashford Hospital, Michelle works as medical secretary within the breast care team. She first joined the NHS in 2005 from a major law firm in the City, following a childhood interest in nursing and still dreams of being a nurse one day. 

Since she joined, there have been lots of changes, the most obvious being the switch from paper to electronic notes. 

Michelle describes coming from the private sector as "the mother of all learning curves" and hopes that the uniqueness of the NHS and its invaluable service continues to be recognised nationally and internationally. 

“I hope recognition of the need for sensible investment, ongoing modernisation and efficiency will enable the NHS to keep pace with the changes we are living in,” she said. 

Summing up her attitude towards work: “I love helping people, quite simply!”

Liz Uliasz, Deputy Director, Adult Social Care, Surrey County Council

Health and social care services are critical partners and across Surrey are working more and more closely together to provide a more joined up service for patients.

Liz qualified as an occupational therapist in 1984 in York where she spent time at Naburn Hospital on the acute mental health ward before moving to Bootham Park Hospital which also incorporated the regional mother and baby unit.

 After moving to London Liz eventually left the NHS and moved to Hackney Social Services working within the community HIV and AIDS team.

 In 1998 Liz moved to Surrey County Council to take up the role of community care team manager at East Surrey and is now the deputy director of adult social care for the council, working closely with NHS colleagues.

Charlotte Canniffe and Anne Cobbe

Dr Charlotte Canniffe, GP, Sunbury Health Centre and Dr Anne Cobbe, retired GP

Doctor Charlotte Canniff is a third generation GP, practising at Sunbury Health Centre. 

Also clinical chair for North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group, Charlotte can't remember wanting to do anything else. 

"I didn’t know any different, medicine was such a familiar part of my life," she said.

Charlotte’s grandfather, Doctor Clifford Cobbe, qualified in 1935 and worked in  Acton, London with a branch surgery in his home. 

In those pre-NHS days he saw patients on a sliding scale of fees but all were treated equally, said Charlotte. He went on to become a military doctor during the war, serving in Africa and Italy.

Charlotte’s mum, Anne followed in her father's footsteps and qualified in 1966 when she juggled career and raising a family.

“Morning surgery ran from 8.30am to 12.30pm followed by four or five home visits - often to high rise flats with no lifts," said Anne

"This was all before evening surgery. There were no booked appointments, patients just took a number and waited in turn.”

Charlotte continued: “GPs also did on-call every other night then.

“I often answered the calls and took the patient’s history before Mum got to the phone. 

"Today things are different, we offer extended access in the mornings so I see patients from 7.30am, with around half appointments pre-booked. 

"After home visits, meetings with other colleagues, evening surgery is usually followed by paperwork."

With three doctors in the house, getting the right one was often a problem. 

Anne said: “My father was Dr Cobbe, so I became known as Dr Anne, Charlotte had to be, well just Charlotte!”

Susan Joyson, Woking Hospital X-Ray Service Administrator and Receptionist, CSH Surrey

"The patients are so appreciative of the little things and my lovely colleagues are always supportive, which makes each day worthwhile," said Susan.

Working as an administrator for the last 20 years means Susan is the first point of call for many patients. A reassuring attitude to help patients feel relaxed and have a positive experience is what Susan's role means to her.

A typical day involves giving patients a warm and friendly welcome, explaining their x-ray procedure, helping them prepare for x-rays and answering their concerns. 

A particular stand-out moment for Susan was when she helped a 92 year old patient who arrived at the wrong hospital. She accompanied her in her car as she drove to the correct hospital instead of simply turning her away.

Liam Tutton, Care Coordinator with the Dorking Community Medical Team, CSH Surrey

"It's nice to be part of a team, not only in a small community team but as part of the bigger picture trying to make the NHS as good as it can be," said Liam.

Each day is different for Liam, which is part of what makes each day so enjoyable. A typical day involves checking that visits for the community matrons and GPs are booked in, and to check for other referrals during the day. 

He said: “I liaise with other services to try and make sure that a patient's care is as joined up as possible. For example, I refer patients to other services, carry out welfare phone calls and also visit patients to take basic observations such as blood pressure and pulse."

Catherine Parsons, District Nurse Team Leader and Practice Teacher, Walton on Thames, CSH Surrey

Catherine's nursing career has seen her work as a student nurse, community staff nurse and ward nurse. She loves the variety district nursing brings and of being independent yet still belonging to a team.

Over the past 28 years, Catherine has strengthened her view that nursing shouldn’t be just for the academic. 

"You need to be able to hold a person’s hand when they are dying or change dressings that smell. Being a nurse requires compassion and empathy," she said. 

"Not everyone who would make a good nurse gets great GCSE results when they’re 16, so we need to introduce a suitable test when people apply for nursing, not just rely on school exam results."

Helen Smith, GP Practice Nurse, Ottershaw and Walton on Thames

When Helen was growing up her GP father would take her to see the Christmas Day babies at the local maternity unit.

While she describes that as 'lovely', it was her father's work as a practising GP that impressed her most. He encouraged her to go into nursing but sadly passed away when she was 13-years-old, well before she completed her training.

"My father was a well-respected family GP and I am still proud of him and his achievements," she says.

"In some ways my work as a nurse does honour to his memory.

"There’s a great sense of responsibility as a general practice nurse. I’ve done additional training in respiratory medicine and see lots of patients with asthma and respiratory disease.

"As well as treating people when they’re unwell, I can help them stay well and prevent them going into hospital."

Kathryn Stevens, Clinical Systems Data Quality Manager, CSH Surrey

"Technology has improved so many processes and freed up clinical time so clinicians have more time to devote to patients," said Kathryn.

"I love that the work I do improves the quality of the records held for patients, minimising risk to them."

Kathryn started her journey with the NHS as a state-registered chiropodist in July 1986, making this her 32nd year. 

After serving as a district chiropodist, she was seconded to help services move onto an electronic clinical system, and worked her way up to manage the clinical systems team.

Kathryn believes the NHS should provide the money to invest in more and better IT as she has experienced first-hand the benefits of technology. 

A standout memory was when a colleague in the IT team solved a problem that was affecting frontline staff and management, who had been struggling to get useful and accurate reports. 

“The cherry on the cake came when he created an automated email notification so clinicians could have details of their outstanding appointments," she said.

"I was so very excited that my dream had been achieved.”

Vivien Allen, Clinical Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist at the Jarvis Centre in Guildford, CSH Surrey

Vivien joined the NHS when she was 21-years-old, she is now 63. 

Her colleagues describe her as being highly committed to the NHS and its ideals.

As a committed team player, Vivien ensures she provides a caring and supportive service to the children and families every day. 

She is proud to work within a service that has revolutionised healthcare and is free at the point of access. 

Linda Buchanan, Health Visitor, Addlestone, CSH Surrey as part of Children and Family Health Surrey

"I belong to a wonderful team, there is much happiness and joy in health visiting which we celebrate," said Linda. 

"There are also lots of sad stories and we support each other so we have the capacity to support families through these difficult times."

Working as a health visitor, Linda's role includes home visits for new born babies and their parents, providing one-to-one parenting advice, working with children’s services to support families, conducting routine health and development reviews for babies and toddlers, and many other duties. 

Linda says most importantly, she is there for mothers who are struggling by offering non-judgemental support for them to be the best parents that they can be.

Tamsin Enticknap-Green, Head of Patient Safety and Quality, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Tamsin's desire to become a nurse began when she was a patient aged just 14 having had an operation on her knees. 

She has worked as a qualified nurse for 25 years, 21 of those spent in A&E, and in her current role as head of patient safety and quality since March.

As an organisation, the NHS is continuously learning and Tamsin's current role means she works closely with staff to identify areas for improvement and support changes in practice for which her nursing background provides invaluable insight.

Tamsin is proud to be a nurse and feels privileged to have been a part of so many people's lives from birth to death which, she says, not many other people get the opportunity to experience in a lifetime.

Catherine May, Professional Lead for Paediatric Physiotherapy, CSH Surrey as part of Children and Family Health Surrey

Catherine has worked for the NHS for 22 years and has spent her time "giving all members of society the same opportunities to receive excellent care". 

The joy on a child or a parent's face when they tell Catherine what they can do after treatment stands out for her: “I went to Legoland at the weekend and didn’t use my wheelchair all day” or “I took part in my race at sports day and I didn’t come last!”; “She can now roll over to reach her toys”; “Yesterday I rode my bike all the way to Granny’s house”.

Catherine believes that community services are often overlooked and undervalued, yet are vital for continuing healthcare and preventing hospital admission.

Angela Batley, Community Matron, Dorking Community Medical Hub

"I asked my husband what he thinks working for the NHS means to me. He said it means absolutely everything."

Angela is proud to be a nurse - the best career in the world – which has also allowed her to travel and work in other countries.

Angela loves working in the community. She finds it a privilege that patients welcome her into their homes and allow her to see into their worlds. 

“I love meeting people from all walks of life. Nursing brings highs and lows. Patients and colleagues can teach you a lot about yourself. 

"The team spirit, a good sense of humour and working with other amazing NHS workers make the job easy for me.”

Jo Murray, Matron – Achieving Excellence, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Jo's role is providing an internal assessment service within the hospital, involved in recognising and rewarding improvements and excellence. 

Her work involves carrying out spot checks to ensure wards and departments are operating as they should and she enjoys the fact that her work supports the organisation to be more open. 

Jo is most proud of her ability to do so many things as a nurse, including teaching others. She says there is nothing like it and that being a nurse is wonderful.

Patricia Mendonsa, Sister, Care of the Elderly Ward - Epsom & St Helier Hospitals

Patricia Mendonsa is the sister for the care of the elderly ward at St Helier Hospital. Patricia originally trained as a nurse in Bangalore, and came to the trust as a junior nurse almost as soon as she completed training. 

"The highlight of my career is working with my dedicated and passionate team to care for 23 elderly patients every day," she said. 

"We make sure that every day our patients are getting the support and attention they need to ensure that they are happy, healthy and comfortable during their stay with us. 

"I also was very honoured to be selected by the trust to go and visit Buckingham Palace and meet Prince Charles at a very special reception held for NHS nurses and midwives earlier this year. It was a fantastic day and I was very thankful to be chosen!"

Dr Thomas Medveczky, Consultant Physician in Respiratory and General Medicine and Head of Respiratory Medicine at Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

"I grew up in Germany and lived in Europe for many years where I discovered my passion to help others. I became interested in different healthcare systems and wanted to know how the NHS works," he said.

"Despite challenges that arise, I still think the NHS is one of the best healthcare systems in the world."

"In my day to day job, I look after patients with respiratory/breathing conditions and try to ensure that they receive the best care. As a team, we try to raise awareness about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and how giving up smoking will help. I am proud to be part of the team that is now in the top ten best standard care for respiratory patients.

"Fun fact: I cycle on a Brompton every day!"

Amanda Laughton, Play Specialist in Queen Mary's Hospital for Children at St Helier Hospital

Amanda decided to change her career path after being inspired by a play specialist who looked after her daughter at St George’s Hospital.

"The impact she had on my daughter’s recovery was overwhelming and made me realise I could also make a difference to so many children by doing this. So I looked at doing my training, qualified in 2002 and have never looked back," said Amanda. 

"I enjoy coming into work every day knowing that I will be making a difference and alleviating children’s fears and anxiety. 

"Distraction and preparation for children is a key factor when it comes to invasive procedures and helping with recovery."

Dr Salim Yasin, Consultant Paediatrician with a specialist interest in neonatology working in the Neonatal Unit at St Helier.

"I knew from an early age that I wanted to work with children and that I wanted to be a doctor. It is an honour to play a part in the care of a young and fragile life," said Salim. 

"A lot of our patients come back to visit us with their parents once they're a bit older, and that really is a fantastic thing to see. 

"To know that you've been a part of their care, and to see them laughing and smiling like nothing happened at all, is exactly why we do what we do."

Raj Naiken, Senior Charge Nurse, Nurse Practitioner at South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre in Epsom

"I always wanted to study and work in this field from a very age. I remember as a child, I used to play doctors and nurses and think that this is what I want to do when I grow up.

"I completed my education in Mauritius and came to the UK as a student to study further as a nurse. I did my training at Liverpool John Moore University and started working at St Helier in 1996 as a junior orthopaedic nurse. 

"I have also worked at St George's as a trauma and orthopaedic nurse. I was recruited to work at SWLEOC when it opened in 2003 and have been there ever since.

"I have been working for the NHS for over 22 years and it has been really rewarding.

"I think it is one of the best healthcare systems and we do not realise how lucky we are to have this service. 

"I enjoy the independence of making complex decisions in relation to patient care in a nurse-led unit and being part of a very well performing team. I have learned a lot and it’s nice to be able to pass on knowledge to other junior nurses."

Professor Christopher Eden, Urologist, Royal Surrey Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Christopher Eden recently appeared in the national press in a survey by the country's top consultants as one of over 260 consultants in the UK to whom they would most trust to treat their own family member.

Among the UK's prostate cancer surgeons, Royal Surrey's Professor Christopher Eden was rated the most highly.

Professor Eden had always wanted to be a surgeon. Always at the forefront of laparoscopy, he was the country’s first surgeon to carry out keyhole surgery to remove the prostate in the UK in 2010.

Working at The Royal Surrey County Hospital, he feels that he has ended up working in one of the busiest and best urology departments in the UK and Europe for the treatment of prostate cancer.

The width and breadth of his experience he feels is as much due to his active clinical research in the field as to the colleagues within his Cancer Network that covers Chichester, Basingstoke, Frimley, Ashford and St Peter’s, Worthing and beyond who regularly refer his patients and to the numbers of patients themselves who ask to be referred to him from across the UK.

His message to men over 45 is to get their PSA prostate cancer blood test checked without delay - 11,000 men a year die of prostate cancer in the UK alone, which equates to one man every hour.