The Chief Nurse of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, Arlene Wellman, has been awarded an MBE in recognition of her contribution to nursing, as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Arlene, who is also Director of Infection Prevention and Control, has worked for the Trust since 2018 and with responsibility for the organisation’s vital nursing, midwifery and healthcare support workforce, played an integral role in the hospitals’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic and has led on the delivery of key improvements in recent years.
Arlene said: “I am truly humbled to be awarded an MBE, and was very surprised to be told I would be receiving an honour – it hasn’t really sunk in yet!
“Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, I knew from an early age that I wanted to help people, and a career in nursing has allowed me to do just that. I am proud to be a nurse, and proud to lead the wonderful, caring team at Epsom and St Helier. In fact, this recognition is acknowledgment of all that we have achieved together, and I remain grateful for all of the hard work and dedication that our nurses, midwives and healthcare support workers show on a daily basis. I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the teams of Epsom and St Helier, who always go above and beyond and have shown a remarkable level of courage and compassion during the past difficult year.”
Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles, said: “We could not be prouder of Arlene. She is an exceptional nursing leader, and thoroughly deserves this amazing recognition for the outstanding work she has done. Throughout her time at Epsom and St Helier, Arlene has been a visible leader, listening to staff and advocating for the professional skills of our
nurses, midwives and healthcare support workers. Her commitment truly came into sharp focus during Covid-19, as she helped shape our organisation’s response to the pandemic, moved quickly to make changes and improvements in very difficult circumstances, and worked hard to ensure staff were safe and secure at work, and their wellbeing remained a priority.”
Chairman Gillian Norton, said: “I would like to say a huge congratulations to Arlene on being awarded an MBE – this honour is so well-deserved, and is testament to the outstanding care Arlene and her team provide for our patients. Arlene’s calm professionalism and compassionate nature are an inspiration to us all.”
In addition to Arlene’s Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control role, she is also the Executive Lead for equality, diversity and inclusion at the Trust, and helped to establish our REACH network (which stands for Race Equality and Cultural Heritage), and is the Trust’s Baby Friendly guardian (the Board level member of staff who has taken on responsibility of promoting, protecting and supporting the UNICEF’s Baby Friendly initiative at the Trust). She has four grown up children and lives in Hampshire.