International Women's Day: The mother-and-daughter teams working together on the NHS front line

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A major hospital where teams of mothers and daughters work together has thanked its female workforce on International Women's Day.

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Peterborough City and Hinchingbrooke hospitals in Cambridgeshire, said it wanted to champion its workforce, which is 80% female.

Trust chief executive officer Caroline Walker said: "We celebrate all staff from across the trust who are dedicated and committed to providing the best healthcare and patient experience they can.

"With 80% of our workforce being female, as we approach International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day [19 March], it is timely to champion all the women, and particularly those mums and daughters who have chosen healthcare as a career path, at whatever stage in their life and careers."

Infection prevention and control nurse Alice Donnelly followed in the nursing footsteps of her mum Deb, who has worked for the NHS for four decades and is currently employed as a paediatric diabetes nurse specialist.

Alice said: "My mum is a fantastic nurse and I aspire to be as compassionate, caring and dedicated as she is to her job.

"I am proud to work in my local hospital and knowing my mum does too is great as we can support each other in our separate roles. We are very close anyway but working together is a privilege."

Deb added: “It is great to have Alice working in the same trust and to follow me into nursing.

"She is a wonderful nurse, very dedicated, caring and compassionate too.

"I hope that we can continue to work together and support each other. It enhances our relationship as we understand the nature of our chosen careers - if Alice tells me she's had a bad day, she knows that I really do know what a bad day is and I know exactly how she is feeling. It really means an awful lot."

Hayley Braint and Lynda Whittle Credit: North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust

Hayley Braint works as a deputy sister on the diabetes and endocrinology ward alongside her mum, diabetes specialist Lynda Whittle.

She said: "The best thing about working with mum is that I can always ask for her advice and help, as a nurse she understands the struggles we go through daily and we always have someone to talk to who understands.

"She’s been a nurse for 40-plus years so her wealth of experience is huge, and we often find ourselves discussing all things nursing over a cup of tea at home. I hope to one day follow in her footsteps and become a diabetes specialist nurse."

Lynda said: "The day Hayley graduated was among the proudest days of my life. She has demonstrated since what a good nurse she is.

"Us both being nurses has brought us closer, having much in common and understanding how to support each other after a tough day at work."

Debbie Compton and Sharon Dujon Credit: North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust

Debbie Compton and daughter Sharon Dujon said that they cherished the days they worked together.

Debbie, who has worked for the trust since 2004, said: "Although I don’t often get to work with Sharon as we are in different places, but when I go over to Peterborough City Hospital it’s such a proud moment seeing her doing so well in a job she really loves, and to be told by colleagues how lovely she is and how hard she works too.

"One of the managers thanked me for raising such a beautiful daughter and I was so proud I thought I might cry!"

Sharon joined Peterborough City Hospital’s outpatients at the height of the pandemic, in August 2020.

"When I came to work in outpatients, I had never done a healthcare role before, I was a hairdresser and had done some retail work, so I was used to working with the general public and had good customer service experience," she said.

"I wanted to work as a healthcare assistant as I could see how much my mum enjoyed her job."I have been in the role just over two years and having my mum as an inspiration I am glad I have followed in her footsteps."

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