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Royal recognition for Medway Hospital's head of nursing

A head nurse at Medway Hospital has received Royal recognition for her work, through a letter from the Queen.

Sakina Jaffrey, head of nursing for the Critical Care and Perioperative Care Group, wrote to Her Majesty the Queen at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sakina Jeffrey has received royal recognition for her work
Sakina Jeffrey has received royal recognition for her work

And while she wasn’t expecting a reply, last weekend she was amazed when a thick envelope embossed with the Royal seal landed on her doormat.

Sakina said: “I wanted to tell the Queen how challenging the pandemic has been for us as healthcare workers, but also to let her know that, as a leader, she is an inspiration to me. She is a strong woman, leading in very challenging times, and I likened that to being a leader in the NHS during the pandemic. We all have an incredibly difficult job to do, but the most important thing is to lead with care and compassion. She seems to be very family orientated but also very concerned for the people that she is leading and that’s the kind of leader that I try to be for my teams. I think she is an amazing role model.”

Sakina, who has worked at Medway for two years, added: “It was important to me that I let her know what my role was, as well as the Trust I work for as it’s not just about what I’ve been doing but what we’ve all been doing to care for our patients. It has obviously been the most difficult period of time that we have ever experienced and I am so proud of the way my teams, and everyone at the hospital, have worked together.

“In her reply, the Queen acknowledged the challenge of NHS workers during this time, and expressed her great respect for us. She also thanked me for my support of her which I thought was lovely. She is one of the most recognised women in the world and to have this letter from her is incredibly special.”

Head of nursing Sakina Jaffrey with her letter from the Queen
Head of nursing Sakina Jaffrey with her letter from the Queen

James Devine, Chief Executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust said: “It’s fantastic that Sakina took the time and effort to write to the Queen to express her appreciation for her colleagues, as well as the role of the Queen as an inspirational and compassionate leader. Considering the amount of correspondence that the Queen must receive, for her to pick out Sakina’s letter shows just how heartfelt her words were. I am extremely proud of Sakina and all our colleagues.”

The letter from the Queen is the second Royal endorsement for Medway Maritime Hospital in recent days.

ITV’s documentary ‘Anne: The Princess Royal at 70’ which was shown on ITV1 recently included a recap of Princess Anne’s visit to the hospital in December last year, when she met with staff in the hospital’s Emergency Department and awarding-winning maternity unit.

Read more: all the latest news from Medway

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