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Celebrating long service at CUH

Congratulations to our long service award winners including Alison, celebrating 30 years in nursing at Addenbrooke's and Vivien with 20 years as a specialist biomedical scientist.

Image of Alison Clark
Alison Clark

Alison Clark specialises in paediatric critical care and is lead nurse for the East of England Paediatric Critical Care Operational Delivery Network (PCC ODN), working across 17 Trusts.

Alison shared her story with us.

“I joined the Trust in 1992 as a staff nurse on ward C3 after completing my combined paediatric/adult training at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

"As part of my development, I arranged to spend a month on the 4 bedded paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) but found I loved the challenge and decided to stay!

"I progressed to senior staff nurse and then took on a clinical practice facilitator role, providing education to the team. I was involved in the in house transport team for PICU, bringing critically ill children from around the region to PICU.

"In 2004 I moved back to ward C3 as the senior sister where I continued to work until 2019 when I was appointed to my current regional role as lead nurse for PCC ODN.

In my 30 years, I have had the privilege to care for many very special patients and families. Our work on ward C3 often involved supporting babies with extremely complex health needs and a number of them were on the ward for many months at a time.

Alison Clark

"I love the variety of my current role which benefits patients and families through ensuring paediatric critical care standards are maintained in whatever environment they are in.

"I have enjoyed working at CUH – the paediatric unit is a small part of the Trust but we have some amazing clinicians and teams within the department

Then and now images of Vivien Mendoza
Vivien Mendoza, celebrating 20 years at CUH

Vivien Mendoza first travelled from the Philippines to work as a nurse in the NHS over 20 years ago.

For the past year, Vivien has been one of three matrons at the NIHR Cambridge Clinical Research Facility (CRF) in the Cambridge Clinical Research Centre (CCRC).

Vivien shared her story with us.

"I arrived in UK from the Philippines in October 2001 and started working in the neurosciences department on Ward A4 at Addenbrooke’s.

"A colleague moved to the Clinical Research Facility, in the Addenbrooke's Centre for Clinical Investigation and she encouraged me to work with her.

"At first I was hesitant, but I finally decided to follow my friend in 2009 and was offered a job. I found my whole perception of what it’s like to work in clinical research was completely wrong and this is where my career in clinical research started and I love it."

Getting involved in studies that might lead to a change in patient care or help improve the care given is truly rewarding.

Vivien Mendoza
Then and now images of Clare Clark
Clare Clarke 2002-2022

Clare Clark is a paediatric clinical nurse specialist for patients with haematological conditions and for children post bone marrow transplants.

This year Clare is celebrating 20 years’ service with CUH.

Clare shared her story with us.

"I trained as a as a registered general nurse 32 years ago, at the Lister hospital in Stevenage, qualifying in 1993 and taking on a paediatric staff nurse role.

"I started as a staff nurse on the paediatric day unit at CUH in 2001 and from 2009 to 2017 I was the senior sister for the unit. In 2017 I started my current role as paediatric clinical nurse specialist.

"I felt that I could really make a difference to reduce delays in patient care so completed further training in prescribing and clinical assessment modules."

I work very closely with the children and families and am able to support them through some very difficult times.

"The role of a clinical nurse specialist benefits our patients as we are a point of contact for them. We help to reassure families, and support them with difficult news, relieving some of their anxieties, explaining in terms they understand and helping to coordinate care.

"We strive to make a patients journey as smooth as we can, helping to ensure they can get the care they require at home or closer to home if possible."

Gemma Harvey
Gemma Harvey

Gemma Harvey is a specialist biomedical scientist in the haematology laboratory.

This year Gemma is celebrating 20 years of work at CUH.

"I had always wanted to do something science related and was recommended to study biomedical science at a University open day.

"I became a full time medical laboratory assistant (MLA) whilst doing a work based portfolio as an accredited degree and a work based portfolio are required to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

"Then in 2010 I qualified as a biomedical scientist and worked in the main diagnostic lab at Addenbrooke’s, specialising in haematology. I learnt all my haematology knowledge and skills through on the job learning and studying for two work based portfolios."

My role massively benefits patients, yet you would never know I’m here.

Gemma Harvey

"Biomedical scientists inform so many clinical teams of complex information and results that directly benefit numerous patients, and the department works 24/7, we work well as a team and need everyone in the teams support.

"There are a lot of interesting cases that we see as part of being a teaching hospital, which I really enjoy being part of, it feels very familiar despite growing bigger and bigger; at least until I have to find somewhere new on the ever expanding site!"

I learn more and more each year and I am proud to work for CUH, it means a lot the 20 year long service award.

You can read more from our Long Service Award winners here.