ST GEORGE’S Healthcare NHS Trust has today paid tribute to the “skill, dedication and achievements” of its 2,500 nurses and midwives.

Speaking at an event held to mark International Nurses Day (Friday 12 May), the hospital’s Director of Nursing, Geraldine Walters, praised nurses and midwives for the outstanding care they give patients.

“Nursing is a physically tough and emotionally demanding profession,” she said, “yet the compassion and expertise of our nurses always shines through.

“Their work is valued not only by everyone here at the hospital but also by our patients, whose gratitude at the expert care and kindness they receive is expressed so clearly in the thousands of letters that land on our doorstep every year.”

“Nurses are the driving force behind many of the changes happening in patient care, and we are immensely proud of them all.”

As part of today’s celebrations, senior midwife Gill Costello, (pictured here with the Trust’s Chief Executive Peter Homa) was named the Nurse/Midwife of the Year.

Gill, 48, set up the Trust’s Early Pregnancy Unit in 1996, which supports pregnant women who are at risk of miscarriage and other complications. She received 11 nominations in all, including one from a former patient, Samantha Coultas, aged 38 from Barnes:

“Gill’s amazingly supportive attitude, intelligence and kindness helped my husband and I though an extremely sad time.

“Her manner is authoritative, supportive, sympathetic and 100 per cent credible, and I believe she is a very special midwife indeed.

“I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of this Award.”

Gill, a midwife for over 20 years, said she was ‘overwhelmed’ at winning the award:

“It was all done my behind my back and I’m overwhelmed really by the kindness of my colleagues and patients.

“I work with a fantastic group of people. Without them, I couldn’t do my job.”

The hospital ran a series of events to celebrate International Nurses Day including workshops on modern nursing techniques and a lecture on the life of Florence Nightingale, who was born on 12 May 1820.

Nightingale later became a Governor of St George’s Hospital.