Local nurses attend Buckingham Palace reception

At Buckingham Palace: L-R: Fiona Allsop, Maria Padfield, Selina Chandler, Sandhya Blakey, Chris O’Connor (photo via SASH)


Five nurses from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) attended a reception at Buckingham Palace last week, held to celebrate frontline nursing in the UK.

Hosted by the Prince of Wales on behalf of the Queen, the event was part of the NHS’s 70th birthday celebrations.   The Countess of Wessex also attended.

Chris O’Connor, consultant Admiral Nurse, was one of the local nurses who joined colleagues from across the UK.  He said:

“It was a fantastic evening and a privilege to meet Prince Charles who acknowledged the pressures faced by frontline hospital staff, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who talked about the dedication of staff and asked us what kept us going through challenging times.”

Fiona Allsop, chief nurse, said:

“I was delighted to be invited to this celebration of frontline nurses and I am very proud of the commitment of all our nurses to making a difference to the people we care for”.

Maria Padfield (paediatric diabetes clinical nurse specialist), Sandhya Blakey (ward manager) and Selina Chandler (matron) were the other attendees from the trust, which runs East Surrey Hospital.

In his speech at the event, Prince Charles highlighted the importance of the NHS as it turns 70, and thanked nurses for their contribution.


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