Today we are marking International Nurses Day and celebrating the massive contribution that is made to the healthcare provision in Cumbria by our CHoC Nurses and Health Care Assistants.  

This day is celebrated around the world each year on the anniversary of nursing icon Florence Nightingales birth. We are joining organisations such as The International Council of Nurses and The Royal College of Nursing to celebrate innovation in the nursing profession and those colleagues who display the best of nursing despite the challenges that we have faced in recent years.

Here at CHoC we have lots of different career opportunities for our Nursing colleagues, including new roles that make use of emerging health care technologies helping to reduce pressure on traditional primary and secondary care settings.  

This week we have been finding out about some of our Nurses and the roles that they hold within the organisation.

  • Mark Hattrick works as a Mental Health Nurse and also provides support to CHoC staff in his capacity as a Mental Health Coordinator. He is always up for a cup of “hippy tea” and a chat which is often all we need to keep us going in the often hectic working environment.

“I love being a nurse! Hope, trust and pixie dust is my thing. I am Proud to be part of a nursing movement towards health and wellbeing. My nursing role models are Nightingale (1800s), Peplau (1900s), our very own Martin Hector (2000s) and the millions of nurses both past and present! I 100% subscribe to heath being holistic and the presence of something more than just the absence of disease – a nursing principle. In my lifetime I’ve been a, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief” in the words of A. A. Milne. All my life experience adds to the person I am now and propels me toward the person I want to be. The person I want to be, includes being a nurse! I’m proud to give recognition to all nurses. I hope you will recognise nursing and celebrate them too!

With affection to you and all nurses –  Mark”

  • Sharon Henderson is part of our brilliant team of Telephone Triage Nurses (TTN) and also acts as Joint Team Leader.

“Having started my Registered Nurse training ten days after my 18th birthday, I’ve been in the profession now 36 years, but every day is a school day.  Learning new presentations, new drugs, new guidance, and new diagnoses! The list is endless. 

Having trained in Carlisle and living in the nursing home I made some lovely friends and memories.  I ventured to the big smoke of London for a supposed few months before I embarked upon my midwifery training after qualifying.  However, I ended up staying there 2 years working at St George’s (24 hours in A&E hospital) then to Harefield Hospital working in the heart lung transplant units before I headed back home over the border to Scotland to train as a midwife at Creswell Hospital.  Here I was in a 2nd bomb scare (the first being at Carlisle whilst I was training).  There were babies in incubators that could not be turned off and myself and the sister of the unit stayed behind to care for them.  These memories are by far my most poignant (and scary).  However, delivering babies into the world was an incredible experience, to share those moments with the parents is the most rewarding and humbling experience you can have in my opinion.  There were no jobs on qualifying (how times have changed) so I trained as a specialist practitioner in District nursing and worked day and twilight shifts in the city and its peripheries.  Off to ventures new, I then worked in a  92 bedded nursing home for 6 years  manging 3 separate units before returning to general practice which led me to work for the then PCT as the Clinical Lead for NHS Funded Care which spanned 15 years.

A career change was needed and after applying to CHoC for my position as a Telephone Triage Nurse, I have been here with my work family for 5 years now.  A truly wonderful team and employer. An absolute pleasure to come to work.

Happy International Nurses Day to all my nursing colleagues past, present and special mention to those who have gone before us.”

We were incredibly proud at our Christmas celebrations to award our TTN team with the Esme Henderson Award which is presented in honour of much loved Nurse Esme who we very sadly lost in 2020.  Esme was an incredibly well respected, skilled and loved member of the CHoC team.  The Esme Henderson Award is presented to those who embody her kindness, compassion and dedication to her patients so it was a very fitting tribute to all the hard work of the TTN’s over the past year.


  • Hazel Boniface is our Clinical Nurse Trainer. Her role sits in the Digital Team, upskilling Care and Nursing home staff in the use of an App which allows them to make quick, high quality referrals to CHoC and to the ICC Hubs. 

“Way back in 1981 when I started nursing, 41 years ago, I could never have imagined the technology that would be available to us now. I can still remember how proud, nervous and excited I felt when I put on that starched white uniform, black lace up shoes, American tan tights, paper hat with one orange stripe (I’d struggled to fold ) an orange belt and  a name badge that read Student Nurse Hazel Cleminson. – I’d become a member the best family ever, the nursing family.

I’ve seen many changes over the years from glass and mercury thermometers to tympanic probes. From bath books and kardex nursing notes to electronic health records and telemedicine. From practicing to give injections on oranges, to mannequins that breathe and let you know LOUDLY if you’re doing it wrong. From carrying out doctors’ orders without question to degree level education, clinical examination skills, diagnosing and prescribing. Technology certainly has helped transform how we deliver care, I like to think of technology as my assistant, but never my master. Somethings in nursing will never change and cannot be replaced by technology, compassion, empathy and care, the core of what makes us human.

I’ve held the hands of woman as they bring new life into the world and, I’ve held the hands of many as they take their last breath. For this I feel very privileged. I have so many wonderful memories that will stay with me forever – I really have got the best job in the world.”

This article is just a snapshot of the Nurisng talent, compassion and expertise that we are lucky enough to have as part of our CHoC team. Please join us in thanking our Nurses for all they do today and everyday. They have plenty of tales to tell (Some too rude to be included in this article!) so make a cup of tea and have a chat. 

Happy International Nurses Day!