THE HARD work and dedication to outstanding care given by the nurses at Andover War Memorial Hospital was celebrated ahead of International Nurses Day.

International Nurses Day will take place on 12 May, and is held as a way of recognising the work and achievements that nurses across the world do.

To celebrate, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, is holding tea parties across all three sites with the first held in Andover on Tuesday.

Karen Pilbeam, who started training as a healthcare assistant in 1984, said: “I have always enjoyed helping people, all the way from when I started working at St John’s Hospital back in 1984, to now that I’m working in Andover War Memorial Hospital.

“I think the best thing about being a nurse is the diversity of people I have met throughout my career, I really feel like I’ve found my thing in life and have met so many characters along the way.”

The party featured homemade biscuits, some cut in the shape of nurse uniforms, hats, plasters and medicine, as well as an International Nurses Day themed cake.

Sarah McGaughey, who started her training in 1986 as a healthcare assistant, but now works as a clinical matron in the Countess of Brecknock Hospice, added: “I always wanted to be a nurse ever since I was little. Once I started my nursing course, I absolutely loved it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else!

“I think my favourite part about being a nurse is the friendships you make with your colleagues, and the support you receive from them. I love that there’s a real culture of always striving to do the best you can for our patients and their families.”

Donna Green, chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals, said: It’s great to take time out to say thank you and celebrate the amazing contribution of nurses. We are very fortunate to have so many fantastic nurses across the trust.”