A staggering total of 2,639 years – that’s the achievement of our latest group of long-serving members of staff.
Paying tribute to the 200 staff members, Chief Medical Officer Dr George Findlay said: “What amazing staying power. It’s an incredible amount of time and energy they’ve put in and, on behalf of the whole Trust, I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to all of them. All our staff are an integral part of the huge improvements that we've made.”
The group includes medical, nursing and clerical staff who have all reached major career milestones from 20 years upwards, including eight with 40-plus years’ service. Each year we honour our long-serving members of staff and this time it was with afternoon tea at the Hilton Hotel, Brighton, on Wednesday 23 January.
Among those receiving long-service certificates was Lead Research Nurse Nicola Skipper who has been with the Trust for 30 years.
Nicola said: “To anyone setting out on a career in nursing, I’d say you’ve got to be dedicated, flexible and you’ve got to respect your patients, remembering that they are adjusting to a very different environment.
“We have been rated outstanding for caring by the Care Quality Commission and I’m very proud of BSUH and how well we’re doing.
“I’ve been in nursing research for 25 years and worked on the first UK trial of statins for cardiac patients. We also do a lot of ‘first in man’ research where treatments are tried out on patients for the first time. The great thing about nursing research is that you’re still seeing patients and you’re out and about. We have a great team here. We support each and we troubleshoot together as a team. “
Marking 35 years at BSUH is Caroline Jones, Cardiac Rehabilitation Sister.“In cardiac nursing you really can change people’s lives. When someone has had a heart attack it’s a big wake-up call and they need a lot of support. They may need to stop smoking or manage their diabetes better. You can guide them on their journey. I’ve seen some patients throughout their lives and got to know them very well, and I like that. You have time to talk to them and follow them through their recovery and help get the positive out of the negatives.
"I’ve stayed at BSUH because I feel comfortable at the hospital and with the team. I did my Masters in 2001, and I’m always trying to keep myself updated. As a team, we’re very supportive of each other and we’re all doing our best for our patients.”
“There was a time when I was involved in cardiac rehabilitation classes at the Trust and my son, Freddie, was running cardiac rehab classes in the community. It was like my legacy - that I was passing this on.”
Cynthia Lewis started in reception at Brighton General Hospital in 1983, after her children were born. "I’ve worked in a variety of departments. You see the world when you work on reception. It’s exciting because you never know who is going to come through the door and every day is different. People coming into the hospital may be feeling nervous and worried. You’ve got to smile and be welcoming and helpful and, for the most part, people are very appreciative.
“I was secretary to the Medico-Chirurgical Society from 1985 to 2016. It was a wonderful job. I liked the social side and organising the events and the annual dinners. One of the high points was going to the garden party at Buckingham Palace for the 50th anniversary of the NHS in 1998. It was a wonderful occasion. “The people I have worked with have been very supportive and fun. I think work is what you make it. If you find something you like it’s easy to stay.”