HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist, Brighton

The NHS provides me with the peace of mind that my health care needs, and those of my family, will be taken care of. It would be unimaginable not to have the NHS.

I’ve worked for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT), since the end of June 2015 as an HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist. I retired last November since turning 65.

I wanted to continue using my specialist knowledge and experience to support people affected by HIV, so I’ve actually stayed on the Nursing Bank and I still do some work with the Community HIV Specialist Services in Brighton.

The NHS has changed the way health care is provided in the UK, and has continued to evolve to meet new challenges over the years. The key focus is the people we serve – I am proud to have been part of the NHS for the last 46 years.

My children were safely delivered by the NHS, and all of my family at some point have accessed care in the NHS. We’ve always had confidence in those who provide our care and it’s comforting to know that when we need it, the NHS is there.

The great thing about SCFT in particular, is its leadership, the great commitment of staff at all levels to provide quality care, and the value that the Trust places on staff. Trust leaders are always ready to support staff achievement on both a personal and public level, for example, the Annual Staff Awards.

Looking forward, as health care changes and community based care increases, new challenges will arise. These changes will need reviewing to ensure that the Trust meets the changing needs of our community.

In all my years working for the NHS, I’ve met some inspirational people – the list is endless. My heroes in particular though, are the health professionals who had the courage to care for those affected by HIV in the early days, these members of staff provided compassionate high quality care for those that were often stigmatised and shunned by society.

For me, the NHS has trained me as a nurse and supported my professio