AS PRESIDENT Higgins visits London’s University College Hospital, Niall O’Sullivan meets some of the many Irish staff who are proud to work in Britain’s National Health Service...
Eamon Sullivan, 41, is a deputy chief nurse originally from Co. Waterford
“I’ve been in Britain for 24 years and have worked in the NHS since I arrived. Today I’m the head nurse of about 700 across the emergency department, intensive care and elderly care. I’m also responsible for patient safety and adult safeguarding.
“It is a very busy job, but this is a great organisation to work for. It really looks after its staff well and many hundreds are Irish.
“You will find Irish staff from the chief executive’s PA right the way through to our top consultants, top therapists, top nurses, top managers and top matrons.
“There were also a lot of Irish staff when I was mobilised to serve on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as a nursing officer in the Territorial Army medical reserves.
“In the field hospital where I worked in Afghanistan I was the officer in charge of intensive care, the officer in charge of theatres was Irish, the anaesthetist was Irish, the officer in charge of the emergency department was Irish and the matron was Irish — all Irish.
“That was a very privileged opportunity. It is a different challenge, but you can take a lot back that you can import back into the health service in terms of management and leadership and clinical experience.”