“I’m proud to be a nurse – I wouldn’t do anything different.”

Priscilla Manuel is a Matron at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital. She was one of 14 Staff Nurses who came from India in May 2001 to work at Queen’s Park Hospital in Blackburn when she was 22-years-old.

She said:

The flight Bangalore to Manchester was full of nurses travelling to the north-west for work. A few friends and I decided to apply to come to the UK to work but on arrival they got posted to Manchester and Preston, and I was the only one who got East Lancashire.

I suppose I was a little daunted, but I was young and excited to have ventured away from home so took it all in my stride.

Priscilla ManuelI settled in very well and although I spoke English it was very different to the Lancashire twang! However, I soon picked up the local jargon.

The support I received was incredible. Initially, I was appointed to C4, the Gastro Ward and the Matron came to meet us at the airport. In fact, that same level of support continues today within ELHT – that’s one of the reasons I have stayed.

We became like family and again that’s something that still stands today.

ELHT is a close-knit community. It’s full of lovely people who look out for each other. Everybody always asks if you are alright, and you are never short of a hug! I lost my mum and friend last year and the support was incredible, especially from my manager Joanne Gardiner CORRECT – I would clone her if I could!

ELHT is a leading organisation that continues to develop and share its learning. The Trust is here to serve its community but it’s also about building an effective and diverse workforce so that level of care and service can continue to be delivered. We also have a co-ordinated approach to patient care and experience and that’s something I love.  

The holistic and personal care approach the NHS is guided by is second to none. It’s the only place a nurse means a nurse, and that’s something I’ll always be grateful for.

I’d recommend an overseas worker to come and work here. Coming to ELHT was the best decision I made.