Local nurses and midwives spend afternoon with His Majesty the King
Nurses and midwives from health and care providers in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire have been honoured with a Royal reception alongside His Majesty, King Charles as part of His Majesty’s birthday celebrations.
The event at Buckingham Palace was held on Tuesday 14 November to celebrate the contribution of Nurses and Midwives working in health and care.
Simon Kasalu attended the event on behalf of the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. Simon, who is an Integration Nurse for Internationally Educated Nurses, joined the nursing team in November 2021, the first Internationally Educated Nurse to join the Trust through the International Recruitment Programme. In his role, Simon supports other Internationally Educated Nurses from the time they are interviewed, through to when they arrive on the ward, and as and when they need support.
Simon said: “When I received the invitation for the reception at the King’s palace, I couldn’t believe it. I never dreamt this would be part of my life story, so it’s a real honour for me.”
Okwukwe (Prisca) Azubuike and Dickey Palzom Bhutia attended the event on behalf of North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT).
Prisca is an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) and joined NBT, which runs Southmead Hospital, at the start of the year.
She said: “When I found out I wondered if it was real. It’s such a beautiful event to have been invited to and it was an honour and a privilege to attend.”
Dickey is a frailty nurse practitioner in medicine at Southmead Hospital and has worked at the hospital for 20 years. She is originally from Tibet, born and raised in India. She is also currently one of the core member of UK Tibetan Nurses Association.
She said: “It was an honour to be invited to the event at Buckingham Palace, especially as next month I will have been working in the NHS for 20 years, all at NBT.”
Aaron Enriquez attended on behalf of Sirona care & health. Aaron, who works in the rehab unit in South Bristol Community Hospital, was one of the first internationally educated nurses to join Sirona.
He said: “I’m really grateful Sirona chose me to represent internationally educated nurses and I’m proud to represent Filipinos and the nursing team. I’m really excited to represent Sirona. It’s a great opportunity and I’m very thankful to have been chosen.”
Melody Potdar attended the event on behalf of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW).
Melody, who has worked at the Trust for the past 21 years, and is UHBW’s International Educated Nurse Workforce Development Lead, said: “I feel incredibly honoured to have attended His Majesty’s reception, celebrating the immense contributions of nurses and midwives to our healthcare system. I also had the wonderful opportunity to personally wish His Majesty The King a Happy Birthday during our face-to-face interaction, which made the event even more special.”