A SPECIAL ceremony has been held for newly-qualified nurses and midwives who carried out their training at the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

A total of 28 nurses and midwives marked their graduation from students to qualified staff at the Trust’s annual badge ceremony, which was held at The Ark, Basingstoke.

Every year, Hampshire Hospitals presents graduates from the University of Surrey, University of Southampton, Bournemouth University and The Open University, as well as nurses returning to practice, with a Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust badge that they will wear on their uniform for the rest of their career to show where they trained.

The evening was hosted by Donna Green, chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, and Andover War Memorial Hospital.

She said:“We did not want to miss this moment, as your training hospital, to congratulate you on your achievement of becoming registered nurses and midwives. Well done.”

As well as their families, friends and colleagues, the graduates were also joined by the mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Councillor Paul Frankum and the mayor of Winchester, Councillor David McLean, as well as members of the trust board and Hampshire Hospitals’ governors.

Paul Bradley, who is 51, has worked as a hairdresser and also ran his own business in the USA before realising that nursing was his true passion.

Paul was the recipient of one of the special awards announced on the night. He received the Taverner Award for the exceptional student nurse of the year.

Paul now works on ward C2 at Basingstoke Hospital, which specialises in the treatment of patients with pseudomyxoma peritonei, a rare form of cancer.

He said: “Life’s too short not to fulfil your passion for what you want to do, I always wanted to do something to make a difference and I really wanted to work with people.”

“I really enjoy interacting with the patients. That’s what made me want to be a nurse in the first place. It’s great to be able to make them smile and feel good.Other award winners were Charissa Batty, who claimed the Student Midwife of the Year award, Mary Grace Liaz, Nurse Mentor of the Year, and Nicola Howell, Midwife Mentor of the Year.