Richard Holden MP accompanied Louise West, a local nurse from North West Durham, on a special visit to 10 Downing Street.
The purpose of their visit was to attend a reception hosted by the Secretary of State for Health, in honour of the 75th anniversary of the NHS.
Louise West, who is regarded as a local NHS hero in North West Durham, played a crucial role in the successful relocation of over 150 patients from Weardale Community Hospital to Bishop Auckland Hospital. This relocation was necessary to facilitate essential safety improvements at Weardale Community Hospital.
The task involved the replacement of the entire fire alarm system at Weardale Community Hospital, as well as a thorough cleaning of the wards. Due to the nature of the work, it was not possible to carry out these tasks while patients were still receiving care at the Stanhope facility. Louise’s quick thinking, composed demeanour, and astute judgment were instrumental in ensuring the safety of numerous lives that would have otherwise been at risk.
The presence of Louise, with her exceptional bedside manner and practical approach, helped alleviate the stress experienced by both patients and their loved ones during their hospital stay. Her dedication and professionalism make her an invaluable asset to the local community, as she provides support to those in need during challenging times. During the visit, Louise had an opportunity to engage in a meaningful conversation with Richard Holden MP and the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay MP. They discussed various aspects of her role as a nurse, including the impressive accomplishment she had achieved, as well as the anticipation shared by her colleagues for the forthcoming state-of-the-art replacement hospital in Shotley Bridge.
Commenting Richard Holden MP said:
“My mum is a ward clerk in an NHS community hospital too, so I know that nurses like Louise do a crucial job day in and day out. I’m so glad to be able to invite her in to Downing Street to recognise the outstanding work she does in our NHS on its 75th anniversary.
“We had a great chat about our community as well as local NHS news like the brand-new replacement Hospital in Shotley Bridge the Government recently committed to funding.
“It was great that I could join Louise today. However, what’s truly remarkable is that there are so many deserving NHS heroes who do lifesaving work every day from North West Durham who could have been here too. I just don’t think they would have all fit in behind the big black door.”
Commenting, NHS hero Louise West said:
“It was fantastic to go behind the scenes on Downing Street and see the rooms that run the country.
“It feels particularly good to know I’m here to represent my teams’ hard work. I know there are so many of my colleagues who deserve to be here too and this recognition is theirs.
“I had a good laugh with Richard but, above all, today was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to Downing Street. It did not disappoint!”