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Nurses' Day: Celebrating our healthcare heroes

On Friday 12 May, nurses up and down the country were recognised and celebrated as part of Nurses' Day. The campaign, run by the Royal College of Nursing, invited people to celebrate their #nurseheroes by thanking a nurse, midwife, health care support worker or student who has made a difference in their life.
Nurses' Day celebration - Winchester Rural East
Winchester Rural East team celebrating Nurses' Day

As a Trust, we wanted to take this one step further by celebrating all of our clinical staff. To help us do this, we asked you to nominate members of Southern Health staff who you consider to be your #healthcareheroes by submitting their name and a brief explanation. We received an amazing response and throughout Nurses' Day, we shared your nominations via the Trust's social media channels. Take a look at some of the wonderful things that were said about staff across the Trust:

"My healthcare hero is my mother who is a registered nurse. Her name is Sandra Pretty and she has been a ward manager and sister of Dryad Ward (Gosport War Memorial Hospital) and The Willows (Petersfield Community Hospital). She has worked as a nurse since she was 17.

"When raising me, my brother and sister, she worked nights and juggled a busy carer as a psychiatric nurse, working many places including Radcliff House, The Meadows and Marchwood Priory. She is now a community psychiatric nurse working from Aerodrome House. When my father passed away, my mother was my rock, and she drove me to do what I was interested in - caring.

"My mother really deserves this nomination. She is the sweetest, kindest person I know; she is my inspiration. I am a healthcare support worker working on Cedar Ward and hope to do my nurse training in the future." Nominated by Megan Pretty, HCSW 

"I would like to nominate Kirsten Prance, Team Manager. Kirsten continues to be an influential and supportive manager and leader in the continuing changes and transition of services. Despite continued pressures to manage and support Community Learning Disability, Continuing Healthcare and Intensive Support Team services she always stays true to her passion as a nurse. Kirsten maintains her smile, her dedication and her humour whilst providing great support and guidance. Her commitment to the team is well recognised and appreciated.” Nominated by Vicky Wareing, Community Learning Disability Nurse

"I would like to nominate Lucy Leeson who is a community sister. I nominate Lucy because she is an outstanding and caring nurse who goes beyond the call of duty. Her caring compassionate nature is seen not just with patients and their famines but to all her colleagues who she supports with great enthusiasm and in her own time when as a mother of 2 boys and a wife of a husband in the Navy she should be at home. Lucy is my hero." Nominated by Mandy Etheridge, Associate Practitioner

“I would like to nominate Jackie Roberts, Senior Locality Nurse. Jackie is an inspirational Manager who never fails to lead by example. Her calm, confident and compassionate manner maintains a fantastic values base across the nursing and wider team. Jackie dedicates time and care to our patients and colleagues to ensure we are valued and listened too. Her supportive and efficient nature is widely recognised and greatly valued. She simply is amazing!” Nominated by Vicky Wareing, Community Learning Disability Nurse


"I would like to nominate Margaret Topping, MS Nurse Business Unit 3. She is a caring, compassionate and knowledgeable nurse who puts her MS patients at the centre of the care they need.  Her patients speak highly of her.

"She will do whatever she can to help her patients and from personal experience she supports the immediate and extended family as well. Margaret goes above and beyond the values of Southern Health." Nominated by Jane Tibble, Customer Experience Advisor

“Lindsey Illey (Nurse Team Leader, ISD) is one of those unsung heroes of NHS that keep the system going especially when the times get tough. Our team has developed and improved to a great degree owing to her leadership. The staff morale is high. She is well respected and liked by the team members." Nominated by Jasenka Matekovic

"I would like to nominate Julie Mogridge. She is a band 5 nurse at Alton Well Leg and Wound Clinic with a caseload of 500! I feel that she deserves a special mention as she is so supportive to both the staff she works with and the patients she sees.

"With her patients, she puts them at ease, explains everything carefully and thoroughly to them and makes sure they understand everything.

"Julie is a great teacher and always makes sure that she answers your questions and queries. She inspires me to look at each patient as a whole and not just as a wound or an ulcer." Nominates by Jo Smales, HCSW

Nurses' Day isn't the only time we stop to recognise the incredible work happening across the Trust. Each year, our staff recognition scheme, the Star Awards, attracts hundreds of nominations.

In 2015 we launched the People's Choice award, which invited patients and the public to nominate. We have since received some of the most heart-warming accounts of how your hard work and dedication has made a difference to the people we serve. 

Let's take a moment to remind ourselves of a few of the wonderful stories: