Guy's and St Thomas' celebrates International Nurses' Day with NHS Chief Executive


Posted on Monday 13 May 2019
NHS England chief executive posing with midwives

Simon Stevens with midwives on the maternity ward at St Thomas' Hospital

International Nurses’ Day celebrations at Guy’s and St Thomas’ were kicked off with a special visit from NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens.

Simon visited the Trust’s maternity ward at St Thomas’ Hospital to film thank you messages for NHS staff ahead of International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses’ Day, held separately on Sunday 5 and Sunday 12 May.

During the visit Simon spoke to nurses and midwives about working at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and supporting the Trust’s patients. Simon’s son was born at St Thomas’ Hospital on Christmas day 15 years ago.

Simon Stevens said: “I was delighted to return to St Thomas’ Hospital in the lead up to International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses’ Day, and to talk to frontline staff about the work the Trust is doing to support all patients.

“The enthusiasm of the nurses and midwives I chatted with, and their dedication to their patients, remind all of us why we have so much to be thankful for. International Nurses’ Day is a chance to say thank you and to reconnect to giving our nurses the backing they need for the future.”

Dame Eileen Sills, Chief Nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We were delighted to welcome Simon Stevens to St Thomas’ Hospital to celebrate our brilliant nurses and midwives.

“We are extremely proud of our staff and it’s great to see them getting recognition from the chief executive of the NHS in England.”

Activities were held across the Trust to mark International Nurses’ Day and celebrate nurses and midwives.

Events included guided tours of the artworks at St Thomas’ Hospital, interactive stands from the Trust’s nursing team, and a performance about the life of pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale in the St Thomas’ Hospital Garden.

The Trust also held a special awards ceremony to celebrate the recipients of the Nightingale Nurse Award, a professional award for its most outstanding nurses and midwives.

The Award, which was co-presented by Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May, is unique to the Trust and is named in honour of Florence Nightingale, who established her first nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1860. The first new Nightingale Nurse Award recipients were announced at a special ceremony held to mark International Nurses’ Day last year.

Winners of the Trust’s annual Nursing and Midwifery Awards were also announced on the day. The award ceremony featured performances from the B Positive NHS Blood Donation choir, who were contestants on the last series of Britain’s Got Talent.

The full list of winners is as follows:

  • Poster competition winner - Kerri Larnach, Billie Coomber and Mariamma Sebastian - Breast reconstruction CNS team
  • Student award - Sophie Warren
  • The Nightingale Fellowship award - Judith Lisk and Michael Van Orsouw
  • Nursing assistant, community rehab or maternity support worker of the year - Victoria Jenkins
  • Staff nurse of the year - Amy Taylor
  • Dental nurse of the year - Zeinab Noor
  • Midwife of the year - Anne Cobell
  • Sister / charge nurse of the year - Jim Domingo
  • Specialist nurse of the year - Mary Thomas
  • Team of the year - Clinical decision unit (CDU)
  • Senior leadership award - Lugard Ohen
  • Dame Eileen award (individual) - Kendra Schneller
  • Dame Eileen award (team) - Infection control team

The events took place on the same day that more than 400 members of staff and supporters, including nurses and directors, abseiled 160 feet down the side of St Thomas’ Hospital to raise money for the Guy’s and St Thomas’ charity.

Dame Eileen Sills said: “Our nurses and midwives work extremely hard day in and day out to provide our patients with the best care possible. It’s really important to us that their hard work and outstanding care is recognised and celebrated which is why we mark International Nurses’ Day with events and activities throughout our hospitals and community sites. It’s great to see so many of our staff coming together to celebrate the fantastic work of our nurses and midwives.”

International Nurses’ Day is celebrated on 12 May each year. The date marks the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth.

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