Dedicated staff celebrated for their long service

Friday 30 September 2022

Large group photo of the 30 recipients of the Long Service Awards. All sitting and standing in Shepherd Hall at St Thomas' Hospital

Some 30 staff were honoured for their long service.

More than two dozen loyal staff who have been working at Guy’s and St Thomas’ for the majority of their careers have been honoured for their long service.

The Long Service Awards pay tribute to members of staff who have worked at the Trust for at least 25 years.

At the ceremony at St Thomas’ Hospital, a total of 30 people had clocked up more than 790 years of service in specialisms ranging from anaesthetics to dentistry, radiography, patient services, orthopaedics, neonatology, midwifery and more. Clinical and non-clinical roles included consultants, matrons, sisters, contract managers, a medical secretary, senior nursing assistant and physiotherapist, among others.

Honouring them, Sir Hugh Taylor, Chairman of the Trust, said: “One of the many very special things about Guy’s and St Thomas’ is that lots of people dedicate so much of their lives and careers to the patients we care for.

“We are very grateful to each one of our long serving staff members for your loyalty, commitment and dedication to the Trust. You embody the spirit and letter of the Trust values and you are an inspiration to your colleagues.”

Professor Ian Abbs, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’, read out the citations which highlighted the skills and dedication of those who reached the quarter-century milestone. Each staff member was presented with a gold badge. The long service awards are funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

Dr Craig Bailey, consultant anaesthetist, has worked at Guy’s and St Thomas’ for 27 years and among his accolades is being one of the leading paediatric cardiac anaesthetists in the country. Colleagues highlighted his “humility and humanity”.

Craig said: “The award recognises my dedication and loyalty to the organisation over many years and I am immensely proud to work in what I consider the best hospital Trust in the UK.

“I am most proud of the teaching and training I have performed over the years; most of our junior anaesthetists have gone on to become highly successful consultants, both in this institution and elsewhere.”

Julia Darnell is a superintendent radiographer in the cardiovascular department at St Thomas’ Hospital, working in the cardiac cath labs. She was praised for her “can-do” approach, commitment to patient safety and for being one of the first people to volunteer to support staff working on the wards during the early period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Julia said: “Winning the award is recognition for working within one specialist department with some of the same lovely people for so long. I’ve worked with some of the radiographers in my team for 25 years and more.

“A career highlight for me was being promoted to cardiovascular radiographer for the cath labs, having the responsibility of managing a team of more than 14 colleagues. It has been good to be able to shape the service as I wanted it.”

Demelza Burgess has worked at the Trust for a quarter-century, most recently as a patient services manager. She was described as a “much loved colleague who believes passionately in the NHS and enjoys working with patients.”

Demelza said: “Marking 25 years’ service within the NHS at Guy’s and St Thomas’ is an achievement to be celebrated and I want to congratulate all of my Trust colleagues who have also received their long service awards.

“I feel a great sense of pride to have worked here for so long and have been lucky enough to meet some fantastic people along the way. I find my role incredibly rewarding, especially knowing that our patients are at the heart of what we do.”

Dawn Erwin is a Sister and has worked in sexual reproductive health for 27 years. She was praised for her “compassion, empathy and support” and as a “consummate professional, with a hidden mischievous side” and a can-do attitude.

She said: “Long service feels like a milestone to me. I have a long career of feeling supported and able to develop through life’s ups and downs.”

Dr Lionel Oo, associate specialist in cardiac surgery, has worked with Guy’s and St Thomas’ for 30 years, after he moved to the UK from Myanmar due to political instability created by the military dictatorship at the time. In 1993 he did the first Video Assisted Thoracoscopic (VAT) procedure with a consultant.

Lionel said: “Winning the long service award means everything to me. It makes me feel recognised for all of the hard work carried out during my 30 years and it means so much to be praised for the achievements that I have made.

“Guy’s and St Thomas’ helped me during a difficult period and took me on so that I could continue as a cardiac surgeon in this country. The Trust embraced me with a warm welcome when my country failed me, so that I could continue my career. I can never repay Guy’s and St. Thomas’ enough for the opportunities that they have given me throughout my career. Thank you!”

The celebratory event took place on Tuesday 27 September.

Last updated: September 2022

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