Trust Staff Celebrate 26 Centuries of Service

A staggering total of 2,639 years – that’s the achievement of the latest group of long-service members of staff at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

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.”

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. BSUH honours its staff members each year, this time with afternoon tea at the Hilton Hotel in Brighton on Wednesday 23 January.

The Trust has just been awarded “outstanding” for caring by the Care Quality Commission and Dr Findlay added: “All our staff are an integral part of the huge improvements that we have made.”

Among those receiving long-service certificates is 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, who said:

“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.”

If Nicola and Caroline have inspired you to consider a career at our Trust, find out more by visiting our nursing recruitment campaign website –  Here you’ll find out more about life at our Trust, be able to view our latest nursing vacancies, speak directly to senior nursing colleagues and find out how nurses get better career options in Sussex!