A York nurse manager has met the Prince of Wales at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the work of nurses from across the country.
Cheryl Lythgoe, Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Manager at Priory Medical Group, was invited to the reception hosted by Prince Charles to honour frontline nurses on Wednesday 14 March.
She said: “It was a fabulous event - very positive throughout. I was very lucky and managed a hand shake (with Prince Charles) and a few words alongside a group of colleagues I was stood with.
“The invitation to Buckingham Palace was an honour that was totally unexpected but very, very gratefully received. But it’s an honour for all of nursing – to be recognised in this way.”
Cheryl, who has worked for four years at Priory Medical Group - a member practice of NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), admitted that she initially thought that the invitation was a practical joke.
“I received the invitation at work and at first when I opened the envelope I thought it was some kind of joke, I looked to see who was chortling in the background,” she said.
“Then when I looked again at the envelope – which had the royal crest on it – it was one of those heart-stopping moments where you realise, actually, this is real.”
Cheryl, who was nominated for her efforts in frontline nursing and workforce transformation, divides her time between two roles at Priory Medical Group.
In one capacity she has undergone extensive extra training to be an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, where she diagnoses and treats patients much like a GP would; while in her second position she works as the manager of the practice’s nursing team where she develops and promotes its nursing services and trains others.
Cheryl was also recognised for her achievements in healthcare last year when she was nominated for the ‘Nursing in Practice’ Nurse of the Year Award at the General Practice Awards.