Mum’s the word in hospital and healthcare with a Trust family affair

Deb and Alice Donnelly.jpg
Deb and Alice Donnelly
Hayley Braint and Lynda Whittle.jpg
Hayley Braint and Lynda Whittle
Published 20.02.2023

With two major calendar dates celebrating women next month, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust is saying a huge thank you to its female workforce.

As well as all the women who hold numerous full-time, part-time, and voluntary positions across its hospital sites, the Trust is also celebrating the many mother and daughter teams who work alongside each other to provide care to patients.

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 per cent of our workforce being female, as we approach International Women’s Day (8 March) 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.”

Here are just a few stories from around the Trust.

Peterborough City Hospital


·         Having worked in the NHS for seven years, infection prevention and control nurse Alice followed in the nursing footsteps of her mum Deb, who has more than four decades of NHS experience, and currently works part time as a paediatric diabetes nurse specialist across the Trust and in the community.

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: “I too am proud to work for the Trust. 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, therefore, we can support each other.

·         Healthcare assistant Mia Canham has worked on Amazon ward since last April and enjoys nothing more than sharing a lunch break with her mum Heather, who joined the bank admin team two years ago.

Mia said: “Working a long shift means I don’t have much time after I finish work to spend quality time with my mum, so whenever we are working on the same day, we meet for lunch. This enhances our relationship as we are still able to see and spend time with each other at work, as well as outside of work.”

·         Senior staff nurse Kim Jones, who is based in the discharge lounge, has always been close to her mum Annette Dolan – who joined the army of Trust volunteers after 48 years of working for a high street bank.

Kim said: “I knew that she would embrace the role of the Emergency Department volunteer. Since my mum has worked in ED she has seen and appreciates the hard work of all NHS works and sees the struggles we face whilst working in the hospital.”

Helping to reassure patients by simply sitting and chatting with them or making them a cup of tea, Annette has been a volunteer for just under two years.

She said: “I found great comfort in my daughter supporting me after I sat with an end-of-life patient. Now we both work at the hospital we understand more what each other goes through and can support each other emotionally.”

  • ·Hayley Braint works as a deputy sister on the diabetes and endocrinology ward, and sees working alongside her mum, diabetes specialist Lynda Whittle as a great experience.

“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+ 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, works part-time as a diabetes specialist nurse. She 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 of how to support each other after a tough day at work.

“My current role allows me to help Hayley with her childcare – Wednesday’s Nannie’s Day - which I love!”

Hinchingbrooke Hospital

·         Specialist pharmacy technician Kate Smith has been working alongside her mum, pharmacy dispensary manager, Jenny Smith for the best part of 18 years.

“The best thing about working with my mum is that we get to spend time with each other every day!

“She has been there to support me and encourage me to continue furthering my skills and provided a great work ethic for me to learn from. When moving to my current managerial post I took inspiration from the way she led her team after seeing how much respect they all have for her. I’m glad I have had the chance to share my career journey with her.”

Jenny, who has worked for the Trust for almost two decades added: “I have watched Kate go from a medicines management technician to specialist technician in cancer services.

“Although we both work in the same department, we now work in different areas but we always aim to help and support each other where we can.

“Our relationship has always been a very positive one, working with Kate and seeing her grow makes me very proud of her and what she has achieved.”

·         Heather Morris is a theatre support working, and her daughter, maternity support working in the community, Samantha Mayes. . Heather said: “As my daughter is based out in the community, we don’t see each other as much, but when she comes into the hospital it’s nice to have a catch up with her.

“As well as all the great times, there have also been some challenges, particularly during the pandemic. Despite Samantha being my daughter, I was unable to hug her as she doesn’t live at home, I found this quite difficult to deal with at the time.”

Stamford and Rutland Hospital

·         Despite being based at different locations, outpatients department healthcare assistant Debbie Compton and daughter Sharon Dujon cherish the days they work together. Debbie has been working for the Trust since 2004 and has been based in Stamford for the past four years.

She said: “Although I don’t often get to work with Sharon as we are at different hospitals, 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 – including by the consultants and other staff who visit Stamford and Rutland Hospital.”

Sharon joined Peterborough City Hospital’s outpatients at the height of the pandemic, in August 2020. Her mum has been a constant support during a change of career at a very challenging time.

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.

“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.”

Peterborough City Hospital, Rutland and Stamford Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon are all part of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.

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Samantha and Heather.jpg
Samantha and Heather
Debbie Compton and Sharon Dujon laughing.jpg
Debbie Compton and Sharon Dujon
Kim Jones and Annette Dolan.jpg
Kim Jones and Annette Dolan