Weston General Hospital celebrates inspirational staff on International Nurses Day

PUBLISHED: 17:56 15 May 2017

The hospital choir set up by Sharon Chitty (far right). Inset: Malcolm Chalk after returning from Sierra Leone.

The hospital choir set up by Sharon Chitty (far right). Inset: Malcolm Chalk after returning from Sierra Leone.


Nurses at Weston General Hospital work tirelessly every day to save lives, but International Nurses Day ensured they felt even more appreciated on May 12.

Helen Richardson.Helen Richardson.

The worldwide event takes place each year on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, to remember the woman seen as the founder of modern nursing.

In Weston-super-Mare the spotlight was on the hospital’s 409 registered nurses, as their success stories were shared in its main reception and miniature tea parties were held at the Grange Road site.

The hospital’s director of nursing Helen Richardson said: “Every day our staff go the extra mile for patients, so this is a fantastic opportunity just to celebrate all of the good things that take place.

“Nurses are a constant presence in our hospital; they will be at a patient’s side 24 hours a day.”

Malcolm Chalk with a fellow nurse in Sierra Leone.Malcolm Chalk with a fellow nurse in Sierra Leone.

Malcolm Chalk is one of the trust’s nurses, and he said he found the day a perfect opportunity to reflect on how nursing varies around the world.

Mr Chalk nursed ebola patients in Sierra Leone, and witnessed nurses dying while working to save others.

He said: “A lot of nurses at the local hospital died because they just didn’t have the equipment to protect themselves – the commitment and sacrifice they showed for their own people was incredible to witness.

“It’s bittersweet that I received recognition for my work, while many of them might be forgotten; but I will never forget them.”

Malcolm Chalk.Malcolm Chalk.

Ms Richardson also highlighted the trust’s appointment of its first nurse consultant – Karen Low – as another positive step for its nursing team.

The role means Ms Low has more freedom to act alone when treating patients, providing advice and support to other nursing staff, and managing patient case loads, with less dependence on doctors.

Sharon Chitty is another nurse who was recognised for going above and beyond, after creating a hospital choir which sings to patients on wards.

She said: “It is a great way to ‘shine the spotlight’ on nurses and all that they do. Sometimes it’s good to take a moment to reflect on the difference nurses make to people’s lives.”

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