A nurse from Croydon was celebrated at a royal reception hosted by King Charles III and Queen Camilla this week.

A reception recognising the contribution of nurses and midwives was hosted at Buckingham Palace on His Majesty’s 75th birthday (Tuesday, November 14), in which Brighty Abraham was celebrated for her commitment to care.

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Ward Leader Brighty had moved across the world to join the NHS Trust in February 2020, a month before the pandemic began.

Within a month of her arrival to the UK, Brighty and her colleagues found themselves on the frontline of Croydon’s NHS response to the virus, providing life-saving care to those who needed it most.  

Since then, she finished her OCSE exams to use her nursing skills in the UK and got registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Within three years, she was promoted twice to become a Ward Leader.

Brighty, who now leads a team of almost 50 nursing and healthcare workers said: “I was incredibly excited to be invited to meet His Majesty the King.

“It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m grateful to the Trust for the nomination and for recognising my contribution. 

“I was initially anxious coming to the UK and settling in as a citizen alone whilst my family remained back in Kuwait, but the support I have received from my colleagues and nursing leaders across the Trust including Associate Director of Nursing Anthony Thompson, Head of Nursing Matron Sandra Mason and Matron’s Joanna and Jolene, who championed me when I first arrived, has been amazing.  

“Being a nurse in Croydon is fantastic, I am always supported to do my best and when I ask for help, I am never turned away.

“The Trust’s strong values of diversity enable everyone the opportunity to improve and I’m very proud to represent the Trust and my nursing colleagues in front of the Royal Family.” 

Brighty is one of many international recruits who have joined Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, an organisation that prides itself on its diverse workforce. 

Chief Nurse Nicola Shopland said: “We’re delighted that Brighty was selected to attend the royal reception, a fitting celebration for someone who has contributed so much to Croydon Health Services NHS Trust in such a short space of time. 

“Across the Trust, our nursing, midwifery, and allied health professionals go above and beyond each and every day to provide the best possible care to patients and it is only right that we recognise this, but also the additional commitment made by international nurses, who move their entire lives across the world, often leaving behind family and friends, to seek new opportunities and to provide care for Croydon patients.

“We have huge respect and admiration for the choices they make.”