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‘Crucial during the pandemic’ - celebrating our heroes on International Nurses Day

PUBLISHED: 16:02 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:46 12 May 2020

Napoleon Manaog, Helen Ballam, Rosy Watson and Stuart Curror are among the many thousands of nurses in Norfolk and Waveney marking International Nurses Day 2020. Picture: West Suffolk/NCH&C/NSFT

Napoleon Manaog, Helen Ballam, Rosy Watson and Stuart Curror are among the many thousands of nurses in Norfolk and Waveney marking International Nurses Day 2020. Picture: West Suffolk/NCH&C/NSFT

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International Nurses Day, on Tuesday, was a time to recognise the efforts of nursing staff across our region for their part in keeping us safe and healthy.

Stuart Curror usually manages the Thurne acute admission and assessment ward at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich, but has transferred to Yare Ward, to care for patients with Covid-19. Picture: NSFTStuart Curror usually manages the Thurne acute admission and assessment ward at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich, but has transferred to Yare Ward, to care for patients with Covid-19. Picture: NSFT

The roles have never been more challenging, and many in Norfolk and Suffolk have returned to the role or changed position to support coronavirus efforts across the NHS.

To mark the occasion, here are some of the nursing staff from across our region and the work they do to support our communities.

To mark the occasion, here are some of the nursing staff from across our region and the work they do to support our communities.

‘We’ve had to learn quickly’ - Stuart Curror, ward manager NSFT

Cat Knight, Community Team Manager with the Older Person’s Service in West Norfolk, has returned to nursing in King's Lynn. Picture: NSFTCat Knight, Community Team Manager with the Older Person’s Service in West Norfolk, has returned to nursing in King's Lynn. Picture: NSFT

Stuart Curror is a ward manager at the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation NHS Trust (NSFT) and has changed roles to look after mental health patients with symptoms of coronavirus.

Mr Curror, who qualified as a nurse in 2012, usually manages the Thurne acute admission and assessment ward at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich, but has transferred to Yare Ward during the pandemic.

He said: “We have all had to learn quickly, but the whole team has risen to the challenge.

“When the pandemic first hit, I expressed an interest in moving elsewhere to help as I like a challenge and the opportunity to learn and develop. I also felt that in years to come I’d regret it if I didn’t put myself forward by stepping up.”

Napoleon Manaog, a staff nurse on West Suffolk Hospital's Rainbow Ward for children. Picture: WSET SUFFOLK HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUSTNapoleon Manaog, a staff nurse on West Suffolk Hospital's Rainbow Ward for children. Picture: WSET SUFFOLK HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

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‘I think nursing is inherent in me’ - Cat Knight, older person’s services, West Norfolk

Cat Knight, who works as a community team manager in NSFT’s older person’s service in West Norfolk, has returned to her nursing roots to support colleagues on the Samphire Ward in King’s Lynn. Though relearning the ropes, she wanted to offer support to colleagues by heading back to the ward and refresh her skills and is among many with a long history of family members also in the profession.

“I think nursing is inherent in me and I really enjoy the job.

Rosy Watson, a community matron, at NCH&C. Picture: NCH&CRosy Watson, a community matron, at NCH&C. Picture: NCH&C

“The crisis has also shown us just how much the public appreciate their health service, which is really nice to see.”

‘Our patients are the most vulnerable’ - Maria Harris, Carlton Court

The older people’s manager at Carlton Court has faced numerous challenges during the crisis to protect residents living with dementia in Lowestoft.

From exhaustion and the soreness of wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to taking the decision to stop visiting to shield residents, she said staff have reacted “incredibly” to new ways of working.

Beth Kimber, NCH&C Head of Infection Control. Picture: NCH&CBeth Kimber, NCH&C Head of Infection Control. Picture: NCH&C

Ms Harris, who has been a nurse for 30 years, said: “Our patients are the most vulnerable in society and need to be protected, so we planned our isolation areas at an early stage in case someone became symptomatic.

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“Sadly, we have lost two dear patients to Covid-19 but are proud to say that the other patients, despite their frailty, have turned the corner and appear to be recovering.”

Debs Hale and the NCH&C Children’s Community Nursing team. Picture: NCH&CDebs Hale and the NCH&C Children’s Community Nursing team. Picture: NCH&C

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‘I have been welcomed here’ - Napoleon Manaog, West Suffolk Hospital

Napoleon Manaog, known as Nap, emigrated 6,700 miles from the Philippines to be a staff nurse on F1 Rainbow Ward at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, which cares for children.

His career has already included working in some of the most challenging parts of the world, such as a paediatric nurse in Ethiopia.

He said: “I am sometimes homesick, and I do worry about my family at this time. I have been welcomed here and supported, people have confidence in me.”

‘An excellent role model’ - Rosy Watson, NCH&C community matron, north locality

The Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) provides community-based NHS health and care via more than 70 different service locations across Norfolk, to a population of nearly 900,000 people.

In her role Ms Watson cares for patients with a wide range of long-term health conditions by visiting them in their homes when they are unable to access appointments.

NCH&C spokesman said: “She speaks about her role with passion and expertise and is an excellent role model. She is a great role model for aspiring community nurses and is a Queen’s Nurse.”

‘Involved from the start’ - Beth Kimber, NCH&C head of infection control

Heading up a small team of specialist nurses, Beth has been among those involved with the county’s efforts to the coronavirus pandemic.

They were involved from the start, screening the public from as early as February, carrying out drive through screenings through to April.

From the end of April the team began its care home residents screening.

‘Crucial during the pandemic’ - Debs Hale, NCH&C children’s community nurse

Children’s nurse Debs has been part of the children’s team for four years after a career working in paediatric neurology and metabolic medicine to palliative care looking after children with life limiting illnesses.

As a children’s community nurse, Debs is among a small team caring for babies, children and young people with differing complex health needs, nursing needs and those with long term health conditions.

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