Queen's birthday honours: Barking, Havering and Redbridge's chief nurse recognised with OBE
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 June 2018
Chief nurse Kathryn Halford has met the majority of the royal family during her 37-year career - and she's set to do so again when she picks up her OBE for services to nursing.
Kathryn, who works for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), was inspired to join the profession after watching 1970s soap Angels, which centred around student nurses.
“I thought it was a really nice job where you are able to help people,” the 54-year-old said.
“A lot has changed in my career, but that hasn’t.”
When the HIV and Aids epidemic began, she cared for some of the first patients to be diagnosed - wearing full protective clothing due to how infectious it was believed to be.
She also helped to care for victims of the London terror attack in 2005, and during her time at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital regularly met with royalty and celebrities.
As chief nurse, she visits wards frequently and meets with staff every week, pointing out that her job is not done in her office.
She highlights reducing the number of pressure ulcers and patient falls to among the lowest in the country as one of her proudest achievements, adding: “We have a real focus on safety and providing high-quality care but I can’t do that alone.”
Such is mum-of-three Kathryn’s passion for nursing that her son Oliver, 27, followed her into the NHS as a service manager in acute medicine.
He said of her recognition in the Queen’s birthday honours: “I’m very proud of her. She made huge sacrifices for our family so it’s really nice for her to be recognised in this way. She’s a great role model.”
Kathryn spends the week living in Harold Wood, returning to the family home in Gloucestershire at the weekend - and it was there that her letter was sent.
She said: “[My daughter] Rebecca called and of course I told her to open it! They are all very pleased for me and I’m very excited.”
BHRUT chief executive Matthew Hopkins said that he was “proud and delighted”, adding: “I can only guess at how many thousands of lives that Kathryn must have touched either directly or indirectly over the years.