Recognising nurses across Sussex on International Nurses Day

As we mark International Nurses Day, NHS leaders in Sussex are praising the work of nurses across our health and care services.

Nursing is considered one of the most important professions in the country, and in Sussex there are thousands of individuals working to provide help, care and support to patients and residents every single day.

From GP practices, to community services, in hospitals, in mental health care and across our care and nursing homes there are highly skilled professionals working incredibly hard to care for patients.

International Nurses Day is celebrated worldwide on 12 May to coincide with the birth of Florence Nightingale.

Allison Cannon Chief Nursing Officer for the Sussex CCGs has produced a short message to thank the nurses across Sussex.

We have also spoken to nurses across health and care partners to find out more about their individual roles and what it means for them to be in nursing.

I qualified in 1987 at the Hammersmith Hospital  and worked in London, Kent and Hertfordshire throughout the 80’s and 90’s. I moved to Sussex in 1999 and worked as a staff nurse in Crawley Hospital on an orthopaedic ward, I moved to East Surrey Hospital as a ward manager and in 2006 I was lucky enough to get the post of Burns Centre Manager at QVH where I have been now for 16 years.

I have been offered so many opportunities here to develop my skills and knowledge, I worked up from Ward manager to Matron, I have done a secondment as a general Manger before becoming deputy director of nursing about 7 years ago. When the previous director retired, I was initially given the opportunity to cover as interim director of nursing and was successful in being made substantive chief nurse in February this year.

The QVH is such an amazing place to work and I am so proud of all the teams here and the fantastic care we give to all our patients.

Nicky Reeves, Chief Nurse at Queen Victoria Hospital

Nicky Reeves, Chief Nurse, Queen Victoria Hospital

What I love about nursing is the variety of roles and experience that you gain – Not one day is the same as the next!

As the Deputy Director of Quality and Infection Prevention across the Sussex Integrated Care System, the COVID 19 pandemic has enabled the system to work together to improve services for both our patients, staff and population and I feel privileged to be part of this work.

Mandy Catchpole, Deputy Director of Quality, Infection Prevention and Clinical Lead for Mass Vaccination

It’s an incredible privilege to be a nurse, to impact upon and to share the happiest times with people and also to be there with them at the most vulnerable points in their life.

I still feel so proud to be a nurse, having trained in the 1990s. The opportunities that nursing can bring to you are so varied, I really have been fortunate enough to have worked across every element of the healthcare economy, the journey is incredible and I still cannot imagine doing anything else.

2 photos of Anne Middleton for International Nurses' Day - one of Anne now and one of when she first graduated

Anne Middleton, Deputy Director for Quality & Patient Safety

I love being a nurse for many reasons, mostly because l make a difference in patients life’s , I have been a shoulder to cry on for some relative in times of distress and l have made wonderful friends along the way.

Luwiza Mushandu, Quality Manager Sussex CCGs

I had a desire to be a nurse from a very early age and always knew it would be the career for me. It is my passion and I feel a great privilege to be a nurse as it has enabled me to spend very special moments with patients and their families throughout their healthcare journey. It is a career pathway that spans across a multitude of areas across a complex healthcare system.

The ICS is an exciting time to enable patients to receive a joined up system approach to health and social care and for career progression through the totality of their journey. This will also offer nurses an opportunity to continually enhance their career utilising their clinical credibility.

Debbie Robertson, Senior Quality Manager

Photo of nurse Candy Gallinagh for International Nurses' Day 2022, in her uniform when she first qualifiedI qualified as a general nurse in 1993 and have loved the variation in career the profession has given me. My first role was as camp nurse through Camp America in New York state, I have since worked in HIV which has been fascinating to see how medical science has developed in this area with such positive outcomes for individuals.

In the CCGs I have worked in safeguarding, CHC and Quality, my career in the CCG has been very rewarding and I have gained so much experience and knowledge. I have met amazing people in my career and always enjoy team working.


Candy Gallinagh, Head of Quality Sussex CCGs


Recognising nurses across Sussex on International Nurses DayI started nurse training in 1970 – against my family’s wishes – and in spite of this, I have never regretted my decision. The nursing profession has changed immeasurably over the years,  but for me, the essence of being a nurse hasn’t changed – it is who I am, and always will be, in spite of the changes.

Since training, I have worked at anything and everything – also qualifying as an aromatherapist, massage therapist, artist, and finally art psychotherapist and I’m forever grateful that Nursing  gave me the invaluable foundation of knowing how to be with people, often at a time when they are at their lowest point – not necessarily to rush in and help – but to stand alongside and understand.

Today is my final day in full time employment with B&H CHC, but I can’t quite hang up my starched apron just yet – and will be working for the local hospice answering patients’ queries on the 24 hour help line – once a nurse – always a nurse!

Judith Williams, Nurse Assessor Sussex CCGs

We would like to personally thank all the nurses who work across Sussex for their resilience, dedication and exceptional leadership during what has been a challenging two years.