Long-serving Guy’s and St Thomas’ staff celebrated in awards

Last updated: Friday, 15 September 2023

Children's models

Staff who received their long service award and the chief executive

More than 30 staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ were honoured for their commitment and dedication to the Trust in an event to mark their long service.

Each of the 35 members of staff has worked at least 25 years at the Trust –which adds up to more than 900 years collectively.

They represent a wide range of clinical and non-clinical roles including housekeeping, pharmacy, nursing, dietetics, nuclear medicine, administration, sleep science, finance and more.

Charles Alexander, Chairman of Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “It is my honour to celebrate the dedication and commitment of so many of our long-serving members of staff. We are grateful that you have given so many years of your careers to Guy’s and St Thomas’, and you should be proud of all you have achieved during this time for the benefit of our patients.”

Professor Ian Abbs, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’, read out the citations for each long-serving member of staff, noting some of their achievements and career highlights, before presenting them with a medal in a ceremony at St Thomas’ Hospital. The Long Service Awards are made possible thanks to Guy's & St Thomas' Charity.

Among the staff receiving awards was Sasha Herring, a nursing sister and retrieval nurse practitioner who piloted the development of the current South Thames Retrieval Service (STRS) for children who need specialist critical care.

Sasha, who joined the Trust in 1998, was praised for her “expertise, passion and her supportive leadership”. Her citation added: “We are privileged to have had her as a colleague providing outstanding care for the children and families who need our help over the past 25 years and we look forward to continuing to working with her for many more”.

Sasha said: “I always said that I would leave when I was bored, but I’m still here after 25 years, working in the same department with many of the same colleagues. I am not bored yet!”

Sekinot Oyenuga has been a housekeeper at the hospitals for 25 years, and is “renowned for her hard work, punctuality and strong departmental teamwork”. Her citation added: “If Sekinot is off-duty, on holiday or away for any other reason, everyone in the department quickly notices and misses her presence”.

Dr Claire Shannon, consultant anaesthetist, whose connections with the Trust go back to 1987 when she graduated from Guy’s Medical School, also received a long-service award. Her citation said: “Claire is stoic, strong, knowledgeable and a go-to person for any scenario, be it clinical, educational or managerial. She is a highly regarded anaesthetist and colleague – a role model to us all”.

Sanjeev Heemraz, consultant nurse in ophthalmology, was described as “a pioneer for ophthalmic nursing, who led his team and the service to truly deliver holistic care to some of our most vulnerable patients”.

Sanjeev said: “I strongly believe that Guy’s and St Thomas’ values their staff well-being and career progression. We had and continue to have strong nursing leadership that encourage staff to develop and promote the Trust on a global stage. I love coming to work at St Thomas’ Hospital.”

Kate Nash, ward Sister, has won many awards during her 25 years at the Trust, including Matron of the Year. Her long-service citation described her nursing leadership as one of “courage, fortitude and resilience”.

Kate said: “Looking after patients still feels such a privilege and I hope to make a difference every day. Nursing can be tough, however being able to support and coach other junior nurses never fails to motivate in your daily work.”

Julia Chapman, technical director and manager of the Trust’s Adult Sleep Disorders Centre, was highlighted for being “a fantastic asset to the Sleep service and an instrumental driving force in delivering operational and strategic ambitions to get it to the world-renowned centre of excellence that it is today”.

Julia, who joined the Trust 25 years ago, said: “It’s an honour to be part of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ family and to have the privilege to grow as part of an inspirational and motivating organisation. I joined the Trust in 1998 as part of a brilliant and knowledgeable team and I have never looked back. Thank you Guy’s and St Thomas’ for giving me my career. Long may it continue!”

The event took place on Tuesday 12 September 2023.

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