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"I am currently the Lead Nurse for Infection Prevention & Control and soon will be moving into a Head of Nursing role. I’m a relative newcomer to the organisation, joining the NHS in June of last year and our Trust in January of this year.

"Prior to coming to the NHS, I was a Major in Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, spending 23 years in the British Army and serving in Kosovo, Oman, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cyprus, Lebanon, and Sierra Leone.

"The NHS is a natural step away from the Armed Forces for defence nurses. The Army’s values are aligned with those of the NHS and almost identical to our Trust’s own principles. Whether military or civilian, caring for those in need is fundamental and a common thread that runs through the nursing profession. It doesn’t matter if your uniform is camouflage or navy blue, people are people and caring for the sick is what we do.

"With both the army and the NHS being large public sector organisations in a time of economic austerity, both have similar challenges and approaches are often aligned. The thing that is most obviously common between the Army and the NHS is the people. Both organisations rely on its people to ‘get the job done’ and there are some real characters in both. I do miss my military family, but I’ve been warmly welcomed into my new one, which has been fantastic for both my family and me.

"Adjusting and adapting to life after military service can and has been hard, but I’ve been really well supported by both the Army and the NHS during my transition, something I am very grateful for.

"Infection Prevention is an amazing place to work. We are completely patient focused and safety is our first priority. There isn’t much that happens in the Trust that we don’t get involved in. You would be amazed at some of the conservations we have on a daily basis! Our founding principal is that our patients care should not be complicated by Healthcare Associated Infections, and we will do everything we can to prevent this.

"Working for an organisation that is so deeply entrenched in this country’s culture is a real honour. We work to support those in most need in the surrounding communities without prejudice, which is a privilege. For me, the NHS is generational and we are just the custodians throughout a period of time. If we can make even small improvements before we hand it over to our children, then its mission accomplished (sorry, old habits die hard)".

18 June 2018

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