A nurse manager from York is to meet the Prince of Wales at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace tomorrow (Wednesday 14 March).
Cheryl Lythgoe, Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Manager at Priory Medical Group, has been invited to a reception hosted by Prince Charles to honour frontline nurses.
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.
“My first thoughts then were that this is 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.
“From a work point of view, it will also be a fabulous opportunity to network with other like-minded nurses that have been recognised as well.”
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 added: “The team at Priory have been absolutely great about it. Everybody here is pleased for me as much as I am pleased that nursing is being recognised like this.
“Priory is a really supportive environment to work in. We’re very proactive about supporting people because if members of our team feel supported then it empowers them to be more innovative in how they work.”
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.
Michelle Carrington, NHS Vale of York CCG’S Executive Director of Quality and Nursing, said: “Cheryl’s invitation to Buckingham Palace is richly deserved - for the outstanding care she provides to patients while working as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and for the work she does to train other nurses and develop nursing services while working as Priory Medical Group’s Nurse Manager.
“It’s great that Prince Charles will be acknowledging nurses in this way because they work so hard to provide the best possible care for their patients every day. I hope Cheryl and the others attending this ceremony enjoy their time at Buckingham Palace with Prince Charles – they’ve definitely earned it.”