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Southend nurses receive a Royal invitation

22 March 2018

Health Care

Two dedicated members of nursing staff from Southend University Hospital found themselves invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 14 March by Her Majesty The Queen to celebrate those engaged in front line nursing.

As part of NHS 70 celebrations Directors of Nursing from across the UK were invited to nominate members of their nursing staff to be selected for an invitation to the celebratory event.

Sherrie Tucker, a Modern Matron in Theatres and Post-Operative Care, and Susie Mitchell, the Nurse Team Lead for Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgery, were surprised when they received their royal invitations. They were addressed from 'The Master of the Household' under 'Her majesty's command' announcing that the reception would be in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales.

Of the evening event the pair said: "It was a real honour to represent our fellow nurses at Southend, Basildon and Mid-Essex hospitals. We both felt overwhelmed at the reception we received on entering the Palace, it truly was a special night.

"We were lucky enough to speak to HRH Prince Charles who also gave a speech highlighting genuine admiration for the work we do 'from the cradle to the grave'. An additional surprise was meeting HRH Sophie the Countess of Wessex who shared with us her own positive personal experience of her mother's end of life care and her heartfelt gratitude to the nursing profession.

"It's definitely a night we will never forget!  Among the nurses there was the nurse for the Royal household who was wearing the same spotty uniform as our clinical nurse specialists, which was a particular highlight.

"Thank you to those who nominated us, it means such a lot for the nursing profession as a whole to gain such recognition"

Sherrie was nominated by Karen Kinnear, Assistant Director for Theatres & Critical Care Management, for going above and beyond in ensuring patients are prepared for surgery, supporting staff and always coming up with ideas to rectify issues.

Meanwhile Susie was nominated by Denise Townsend, Director of Nursing for Southend, for her inspirational leadership and for establishing the neonatal tongue tie service that has revolutionised the care pathway for babies, ensuring best practice.

Denise said: "It's fantastic that Southend Hospital nurses got to help represent the NHS at 70 at Buckingham Palace, helping fly the flag for the great work our nursing staff accomplish day in and day out under huge pressure."