Posted on Tuesday 11 December 2018
The Trust's annual Long Service Awards
Dedicated staff who have spent most of their careers working for Guy's and St Thomas' were honoured at the Trust's annual Long Service Awards.
The 33 staff who have worked at the Trust for a minimum of 25 years collected awards from Chairman Sir Hugh Taylor during the celebratory event.
Between them they have clocked up more than 850 years of loyal service at Guy’s and St Thomas’.
Both clinical and non-clinical staff were recognised – from nurses, midwives and surgeons to housekeeping assistants, receptionists and specialist engineers.
Hortense 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.
Hortense, who helped set up the nurse-led plastic dressing clinic, said: “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.”
She added: “I have seen many changes at St Thomas’, especially the uniform. 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. Now I wear black trainers to work, something I wouldn’t have dared to wear back then.”
Jo Davies has dedicated 26 years of her career to 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 the national move to have families in the ambulance during intensive care transfers.
Jo, a retrieval nurse practitioner, said: “I came back from maternity leave and knew that I wouldn’t want to be away from my daughter if she was critically ill. 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.”
She added: “It’s a privilege to look after children and their families when they are at their most vulnerable. 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.”
Professor David Anderson is a world-renowned consultant heart surgeon who has worked for the Trust for almost 28 years. His interest in heart surgery began in the 1970s when he was a student at St Thomas’ Hospital.
Professor Anderson said: “I have been very happy during my career and was able to put my own stamp on the congenital cardiac service.”
Professor Anderson has worked tirelessly around the world, taking his skills to countries with no other access to specialist surgical procedures.
He said: “One of my greatest pleasures is training surgeons, it’s an opportunity to influence the next generation and to pass the baton. I was tutored by some great surgeons and I wouldn’t be doing the job if it wasn’t for them.
"Training my students is like taking your kids for a driving lesson, at times anxiety generating but you have to do it because if you don’t there will be no future.”
Speaking at the awards, Sir Hugh Taylor said: “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.
“Again and again we meet people who have been in the same job for many years. It makes a huge difference to the stability of the organisation and the way we care for our patients in the community and beyond.”
The celebratory event took place on Thursday 6 December.