Celebrating International Nurses' Day 2022

Date: 12 May 2022

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To celebrate International Nurses’ Day (Thursday 12 May 2022), we asked our community, and our staff, to share their stories about our nurses and midwives who they felt have made a difference to them and those around them.

The response that we got has been overwhelming. To thank those who have been recognised for the excellent care that they provide, Chief Executive Dr George Findlay, Chief Nursing Officer Evonne Hunt and Divisional Director of Nursing Dan West presented our nursing and midwifery staff with certificates earlier today, in recognition of their continued hard work.

We thought we’d share with you a few of the stories submitted.


Emma Enwright, Clare Thomas (Midwives)

“Emma Enwright and Clare Thomas were amazing back in January 2021, we honestly cannot thank them enough. My labour took an unexpected bad turn; they remained calm and professional throughout. If they hadn’t of acted as quick as they did, we could have been telling a different story today. Emma comforted my partner whilst I went down to theatre after giving birth. We are forever thankful, so once again thank you for all that you both did that night!”


Francesca Fairfield (Midwife)

“I would like to thank you, Midwife Francesca, for supporting me during my labour and birth. She was very supportive and reassured me everything was okay and kept me calm. Thank you to all the staff that looked after us both.”


Nikki Bond, Jodie Essex, Danni, Charlotte Barrett (Midwives and a Student Midwife)

“I came to the delivery suite in the morning after having contractions at home all night and being seen in maternity triage the evening before. I came in just before 8am and then met my midwife for the day, Nikki Bond, and student midwife Danni. From the minute I met Nikki I felt completely at ease and relaxed despite the pain. Nikki explained everything to me and reassured me that I was in safe hands. She explained my pain relief options and gave me all the information I needed to make the best decision.

“As the day went on Nikki was continuously checking up on me and my partner ensuring we had everything we needed.

“Unfortunately by 8pm I still hadn’t delivered our baby girl meaning I had two new midwives looking after me, Jodie and student Charlotte.

“Nikki played a huge part in my labour and made me feel so comfortable and I will forever be grateful for the way she helped me through. At 21:21pm Student midwife Charlotte delivered our beautiful daughter. Charlotte and Jodie came with me to theatre after the birth and Charlotte was fantastic throughout too.

“The biggest thank-you to Medway Maritime Hospital’s Delivery Suite, especially Jodie, Danni, Charlotte and the absolutely incredible Nikki.

“You are amazing.”


Zoe Stonley (Midwife)

“I'd like to share mine about my midwife Zoe; I used to see her at the Woodlands clinic.

“I had three previous pregnancies, the first two were pretty straight forward, my third very sadly ended up as a stillbirth, so being pregnant again after our son passing away, even though planned, it was extremely scary and my anxiety was always so high. Our pregnancy was high risk.

“Before every appointment I was always so anxious, especially waiting to hear our baby’s heartbeat, but Zoe was always so calm and reassuring. When you're an anxious person it makes such a difference when you are completely supported and reassured. I could message Zoe any time I had a worry and she would get back to me straight away.

“We had a C-section to ensure safe delivery of our baby and we were lucky enough that Zoe could be there too, the extra support was really appreciated. She took amazing photos for us, held my hand, talked us through everything that was happening and stayed with us in recovery.

“Zoe did our home visits too and it was nice to see a familiar face again. There could not have been a better, more supportive midwife to get us through our fourth, and final, pregnancy. I would have loved to have Zoe as my midwife for all four of my pregnancies, I am so glad she was there as our son was delivered safely.”

Zoe Woods (Midwife)

“In June 2021 I had my little girl. I struggled for the first few days physically and mentally as a first time mum and then I unfortunately suffered a pulmonary embolism as well. As someone who has had health anxiety since I was a child, this was the worst thing that could have happened to me. It was very scary and my anxiety was worse than ever before.

“One of the Swale community midwives, Zoe Woods, came out to see me on a postnatal visit. She hadn't been my community midwife during pregnancy so this was the first time I had met her. She was amazing. She did everything she could to reassure me and make me feel better. My anxiety was completely taking over me and I think Zoe recognised this.

“I spoke to and saw her a few more times and she never once tired of answering the same questions and reassuring me over and over again. She even went as far as to give me her number and she text me even when she was on annual leave just to ask if I was alright.

“I can't begin to explain the impact this experience had on me and my new baby, but Zoe was so integral in those first few weeks. Having someone at the end of a phone who genuinely cared made such a difference. I think this goes to show not only what a great midwife she is, but what a kind person she is too. I often think about how kind she was to me and it will stay with me forever.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you to Zoe and every other midwife at Medway that helped me on the road to finding myself again.”


The Birth Place Team (Team nomination)

“When I went into labour with my first child in 2014, my dad brought me and my partner into the Birth Place. While I was being booked in, little did I know my dad had collapsed in the waiting room suffering his first ever Atrial Fibrillation episode, brought on by the stress and excitement of knowing his first born daughter was going into labour.

“The midwives were quick to call in a crash team to help my dad because he was in a very bad way but the staff were sensible enough not to tell me what was going on to make sure they didn't cause me any stress that could endanger my baby during labour. I wondered at the time why random relatives were switching places with my mum as my second birthing partner, not knowing that it was so my mum could leave the room to check on what was happening with my dad.

“Mum said the midwives were incredibly supportive and all remained calm throughout the dramatic experience. Once I'd finally given birth they helped my mum explain to me what had happened and they allowed us to call through to the ward dad had been put on to make sure we could tell him he was finally a grandad.

“If it hadn't have been for the midwifery teams quick reactions that day my dad may not have made it and had the chance to meet his first grandchild so we're all so grateful for them being quite simply superheroes!

“I've since had two more babies at Medway, all three of my children were beautiful water births in the Birth Place where the midwife team were just amazing and kept me calm throughout. Thank you for your great work!”


Gemma Heyward (Midwife)

“I wanted to nominate Gemma and the student midwife working with her at the time.

“They were both absolutely amazing when I gave birth to our third daughter. It was by far the best labour experience out of the three and that was down to the care and attention these ladies gave me throughout. They took care of us at the Birth Place and the labour went smoothly and calmly. Their caring manners didn’t go unnoticed and they supported us for hours afterwards too. I’m sure the student will go very far in her career.

“Thank you both!”


Poppy Elliott, Nicole Jones, Dannii, Yvonne (Midwife, Fetal Medicine Nurse, Bereavement Midwives)

“I would like to recognise my midwife poppy who helped deliver my son who was born asleep at 21 weeks gestation. She was amazing in the fact that she made me and my husband still feel like we were going to be parents and made a very sad situation into a positive experience the best she could.

“I would also like to recognise the fetal medicine nurse Nicole for going above and beyond and giving me a scan when she did. Although the news was bad I'm glad we didn't have to wait another two days to find this out and it was great to see a friendly face when she came to visit us the next day.

“Finally I would like to give a massive shout out to Dannii and Yvonne my bereavement midwifes for explaining everything so well and helping us through the very dark times, to now supporting us through this pregnancy.

“They all do such amazing work, thank you Medway midwives.”

Second nomination for Nicole – “When I had my second son in 2013 I was desperate for a vaginal delivery. Things did not go to plan and I ended up with a C-section under general anaesthetic with both my son and I quite unwell for a while there.  At the time I had a student midwife looking after me; I don’t remember many of the details of my son’s birth but she is the main thing I remember.

“When I woke up I was very disorientated and I must have asked her several times if I’d had a boy or a girl, she was so calm and kind, she gently answered all of my repeated questions, she held my hand and I remember she kept bargaining with me to drink more water!  I forget what time my son was born over and over again but I never forgot her name. 

“Fast forward a few years and I have a healthy, happy and noisy nine year old and I got a work related email from the same student midwife!  She’s no longer a student and now working with the team in Fetal Medicine Unit!  I have already said thank you but I will always be grateful to Nicole!”


Katie Apps, Louise Cook, Annie O’Neill (Midwives)

“My community midwife was Katie Apps, she helped me all the way through my pregnancy in calming my nerves and answering my many lists of questions throughout the pregnancy, every appointment I was greeted with a smile and made to feel so comfortable and welcoming. Katie definitely helped to make my pregnancy experience an amazing experience and I’m definitely going to request her again in the future if we have another baby! I always felt welcomed and listened to, even now when I send updates about my little boy!

“During my labour/birth I had two midwives, Louise Cook and Annie O’Neill. Both ladies were amazing and made me feel so comfortable during the process. Louise helped me into many different positions to get comfortable and helped me be in control of my own pain management. I felt listened to and supported throughout my labour with Louise. Annie came in and took over the morning shift and delivered my baby boy, she gave me so much encouragement when I was really struggling to get comfortable and find the energy to push. Annie gave me and my partner all the help and support we needed before having to go and deliver another baby but continued to check in with us throughout the day on the birth place.

“Anyone who has Katie, Louise or Annie are extremely lucky, they were all amazing!”


Jo Mabonga, Mikka Gabatin (Tuberculosis Nurses)

“I wanted to take a few minutes to commend the Tuberculosis (TB) nursing team. Both Jo Mabonga and Mikka Gabatin really care about their patients and nothing is too much effort. Last night they stayed late to help me locate a patient who had been told they had TB, they provided great pastoral support and helped ease anxieties and worries. When the patient left they were smiling and chatty.

“They are extremely professional at all times and passionate about patient care.”


Jane Kindred (Respiratory Nurse)

“I would like to nominate Jane Kindred, Respiratory Nurse specialist. I work within respiratory research and Jane is always happy to help with any questions I have. She helps with recruitment to our research studies by speaking to her patients about the studies and referring them to us which means more patients get to take part in important studies.

“She is helping with our new study by giving us training so we can conduct the study here without relying on too many other departments, making the process easier for our patients. Jane is always friendly and kind whenever you see her about and always happy to help. She is a true asset to Medway.”


Lelette Holson-Patterson (Jade Ward)

“Lelette is a wonderful nurse. She always puts the patients’ needs first and is very attentive, passionate and compassionate. I’m a flexi Clinical Support Worker (CSW) and Lelette is so far the most incredible nurse I have come across.”


Covid Immunisation Team (Team nomination)

“The nurses at Medway Maritime Hospital were so kind and thoughtful when I got my Covid vaccine. I have a history of faintness and nausea after jabs so they gave me a bed and biscuits and water, and chatted to me to make me feel better. I am so grateful for what nurses do and I wish them a very happy International Nurses’ Day!”


Rosaleen Bockarie (Byron ward)

“I would like to recommend Rosaleen Bockarie (Byron Ward manager) to be recognised on this International Nurses’ Day. She goes over and above to get the job done; she is ever ready to listen to staff and help where she can.

“She has a can-do attitude. Most times she stays hours beyond her closing time to help out if the ward is short. Whenever she is not on duty, her absence is felt.

“No task is too small or big for her, from giving commodes to specialising patients that needs one-to-one supervision when we are short of staff. She brings a positive inclusive energy to the team.”


Lynn Russ (Bronte Ward)

“I would like to see Lynn Russ mentioned. The time she puts into every patient is outstanding, but I have seen her go the extra mile for patients, even organising a doctor’s surgery for a patient, who wasn't registered, by going to the doctors’, getting all the relevant paperwork, helping the patient to complete it and then returning it to the surgery so she could discharge them safe in the knowledge they could seek help from a doctor in the future and would be able to get the medication that he needed.

“Lynn Russ is an outstanding example of what makes Medway great.”


Brogan Crocker (Victory Ward)

“I would like to nominate Band 5 Brogan Crocker on Victory Ward.

“Brogan has been qualified for seven months and has been an exceptional nurse from day one.

“Brogan is very calm and collected and ensures that care provided for her patients is delivered in a timely, caring and efficient manner. Her patients really appreciate her skills and caring nature. Colleagues on the ward very much value her teamwork and the positivity she brings to everyone.

“Thank you for all you do Brogan!”


Karen Alexander (Respiratory Team)

“I would nominate all the nurses if I could! I would like to nominate Karen Alexander (specialist respiratory nurse). Despite working full-time in her own role, she often covers shifts on McCulloch ward at very short notice. She goes above and beyond with her excellent nursing skills and gives her 100% at all times - often leaving late but making sure her patients are safe.

“At the beginning of Covid the respiratory nurses stepped out of their specialist roles and supported all the staff on McCulloch Ward, this is something we will be eternally grateful for, it made working at this dreadful time a bit more bearable.

“Karen is always available at the end of the phone for advice even on her day she off, she will always respond with the best advice she can give and always willing to resolve a problem. Karen is very thorough in her work and I have seen this with my own eyes when she’s explaining information to patients about complex treatment.

“I know she has worked for the Trust for many years without a day off sick, she is a massive asset to Medway NHS Foundation Trust.”


Sarah Devibar (Endoscopy)

“Sarah joined the Trust in March 2015 having worked in a nursing home for 10 years previously. She began her gastro career in Keats Ward as a Band 5 nurse.

“In June 2017 Sarah moved to the Endoscopy Unit as a Band 5 nurse. She soon developed her skills and learnt each procedure quickly, leading the rooms and supporting staff within the unit.

“In June 2021 Sarah was successful in the Band 6 post and continued to support the unit and staff above and beyond. Sarah is now one of the staff who has been successfully funded by NHS England to complete her Nurse Endoscopist Training with the Liverpool John Moore University.

“Sarah is now nearly half way through her course. She continues to be an asset to the unit and supports the staff and unit manager despite having the extra study, training lists and practical sessions (held in Liverpool). Sarah is always upbeat and willing to put others before herself in order for them to succeed.

“I have every confidence that Sarah will flourish with her endoscopy skills, taking on her own lists once qualified.”


Christine Gilder (Admission and Discharge Lounge)

“Recognised for dedication to service over the last 36 years. She is committed and passionate in ensuring the Best of Care for her patients and their safe discharge from hospital. Christine will be missed by all of her colleagues and the Senior Leadership Team.”


Olaolu Salawu, Mercy John (Phoenix Ward)

“I would like to nominate Olaolu Salawu and Mercy John for stepping into the role of ward manager of Phoenix Ward. Both Olaolu and Mercy have demonstrated a talent for understanding and meeting the demands of the role without any exposure to it.   They have shown resilience and compassion and have worked above and beyond for their patients and colleagues. They have endured sustained staff shortages and disappointment with continued energy and enthusiasm.”


Rajini Sivaraman (Victory Ward)

“Rajini has worked on Victory Ward as a clinical sister, before developing as a senior sister, and I am proud of how she is leading her ward. She is kind and compassionate, to her staff and her patients. I have witnessed Rajini remain calm under pressure whilst dealing with some challenging situations on her ward.”


Anna Webster (Arethusa Ward/Surgical Assessments Unit)

“Anna has recently qualified as a nursing associate and I have witnessed her twice speaking up for the patients under her care, when she feels there is an issue. Anna is bold in her practise and ensures the best of care for her patients.”


Mini George, Krystal Brown, Misheia Harris (Milton Ward)

“I would like to nominate Clinical Sisters Mini George and Krystal Brown and Acting Clinical Sister Misheia Harris on Milton Ward. They are all excellent role models to their colleagues, junior staff, students and the wider multidisciplinary team.

“They are all kind, caring and compassionate and go the extra mile to deliver the best care to our patients. They have demonstrated resilience and strength during the pandemic and have been excellent leaders in difficult circumstances. I am incredibly proud to be their line manager and they deserve recognition for all that they do.”

  • Summary:

    To celebrate International Nurses’ Day (Thursday 12 May 2022), we asked our community, and our staff, to share their stories about our nurses and midwives who they felt have made a difference to them and those around them.

    Here we share some of those stories.