Croydon's very own nurse Brighty Abraham was celebrated at a reception hosted at Buckingham Palace by His Majesty The King last week (Tuesday 14 November).
The event recognised the contributions of international nurses and midwives working across the country’s health and social care services, recruited through the NHS’ Capital Nurses programme.
Ward Leader Brighty was selected to represent the Croydon’s international nurses in recognition of her incredible commitment to care, having moved across the world to join the NHS Trust in February 2020.
Whilst dealing with the challenges of settling into a new country, culture and way of life, the world was waking up to the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and, within just a month of her arrival, Brighty and her colleagues found themselves on the frontline of Croydon’s NHS response to the virus, providing life-saving care to those who needed it most.
Since then, she has climbed the ranks, completing her OCSE examinations to allow her to utilise her professional nursing skills in the UK and gaining her registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, before being promoted twice in three years to the role of Ward Leader.
Brighty, who now leads a team of almost 50 nursing and healthcare workers said:
“I was incredibly excited to be invited to meet His Majesty the King. It’s truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m grateful to the Trust for the nomination and for recognising my contribution.
“I was initially anxious coming to the UK and settling in as a citizen alone whilst my family remained back in Kuwait, but the support I have received from my colleagues and nursing leaders across the Trust including Associate Director of Nursing Anthony Thompson, Head of Nursing Matron Sandra Mason and Matron’s Joanna and Jolene, who championed me when I first arrived, has been amazing.
“Being a nurse in Croydon is fantastic, I am always supported to do my best and when I ask for help, I am never turned away. The Trust’s strong values of diversity enable everyone the opportunity to improve and I’m very proud to represent the Trust and my nursing colleagues in front of the Royal Family.”
Brighty is one of many international recruits who have joined Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, an organisation that prides itself on its diverse workforce.
Chief Nurse, Nicola Shopland commented:
“We’re delighted that Brighty was selected to attend the royal reception, a fitting celebration for someone who has contributed so much to Croydon Health Services NHS Trust in such a short space of time.
“Across the Trust, our nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals go above and beyond each and every day to provide the best possible care to patients and it is only right that we recognise this, but also the additional commitment made by international nurses, who move their entire lives across the world, often leaving behind family and friends, to seek new opportunities and to provide care for Croydon patients. We have huge respect and admiration for the choices they make.”
The event was supported by NHS England’s Capital Nurse programme, which coordinates the recruitment of international nurses, midwives and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) for its members across London.