Michelle Beaumont's been to the poshest party ever after an invitation from Prince Charles on the day we reached the Nursing Times 2016 finals.
Our head and neck team was shortlisted in the cancer care category at the event at the Grosvenor Hotel, London. Earlier in the day, Clarence House, Prince Charles' London residence, was the venue for a special reception for 90 of the finalists. Prince Charles sponsors an Integrated Care trophy every year and enjoyed mingling with the nurses from around the country including our Michelle.
The rest of the team Julie Hoole, Sarah Topen, Natalie Haigh, Sara Robins, Zoe Firth were also in London for the awards. Julie Hoole had nominated them for their work to improve rehabilitation after treatment for head and neck cancers. Our Trust nows offers weekly appointments where patients see a dietitian, specialist nurses and speech therapist all the same appointment and getting tremendous feedback from our patients.
Michelle, said: "Clarence House was absolutely beautiful. Prince Charles was really good fun and interested. The night itself was so fantastic. It was brilliant to be shortlisted and for all our team to be able to attend and we want to thank the Trust and Macmillan for supporting us."
What did Prince Charles say?
" He asked me what I did and I said it was about people living with cancer and he said it sounded a hard job. I was so giddy I can't remember much more but he was really interested in self-management aspect of care. We were in the last of three reception rooms and he was still engaging and listening to what we were saying."
So what's his house like?
"There was art and sculptures everywhere, all very posh and very old and very beautiful.!
What did you eat?
Mushroom risotto and there was champagne throughout but I didn't have any as I saved myself knowing the awards were later on. He had a whisky as he had a cold.
Who did you talk to as you were on your own?
" They put us all in groups. There were three reception rooms so we could all talk to each other about what we all did and that was the best thing hearing from other nurses and being part of it all"
How long were you there and was Camilla there?
" Two hours and no."
Nursing Times editor Jenni Middleton introduced the finalists to the Prince. She said: “We are thrilled that once again that HRH the Prince of Wales has invited Nursing Times Awards finalists to a reception at his home. He thanked all the nurses for their work and it was a joy to see them being shown how much they and their work is valued.
(We didn't win but scooped best hat made out of napkin - see attached photo!)