NURSES at Warrington Hospital are the glue that holds departments together.

They work long hours and are often one of the first people you will be seen by for treatment at the Lovely Lane site.

They do what they do as they love their work, but they are also selfless in their efforts to help us in our time of need and inspiring with their dedicated work.

As today, Thursday, is International Nurses Day 2022, we paid a visit to the hospital to speak to Warrington’s wonderful nurses.

We were given a warm welcome to the outpatient department by smiling staff nurse Abiodun Abimbola, who typifies the ‘above and beyond’ attitude among nurses.

On one of her days off, she was called upon to deliver a baby while travelling on a train service from Warrington Bank Quay to London after a fellow passenger entered labour.

“Around 10 minutes into the journey, I noticed a heavily pregnant woman walk past us, approaching the toilet,” she said.

Staff nurse Abiodun Abimbola

Staff nurse Abiodun Abimbola

“Almost immediately after, a man ran back shouting: “My wife is about to push our baby out, can anyone help?”

“Straight away, my husband nudged me and shouted back: “My wife is a midwife – Abi, go and help.”

“With a mixture of anxiety and trembling inside of me, I got up not knowing what to expect, and hurriedly approached the toilet.”

With a surge of adrenaline, Abi swung into action using a pair of nylon gloves from the train’s kitchen, and successfully delivered a beautiful 36-week-old baby girl.

While this is an exceptional occasion, it typifies the selfless nature of nurses, with Abi’s typical day beginning around 7.30am preparing clinics for patients.

On entering the profession, she explained: “When I was a little girl, there was a woman living opposite who was a nurse.

Staff nurse Israa Mostafa

Staff nurse Israa Mostafa

“It was the days of wearing caps and capes, and I really used to admire the woman. She was very smart looking, and I thought one day I want to be like her, and here I am today.

“It is a very rewarding job. I have never done anything else, and I do not think I would want to do anything else.

“We have a great team here, with approachable leaders whose doors are always open.”

One such leader is Nicola Milkins, acting matron for clinical support services, whose role is to ensure the unit runs smoothly, with safe levels of nurses.

Beginning her NHS career at the age of 16 as an auxiliary nurse, she has seen it all, and now works to maintain the welfare of nursing staff.

She wanted to praise the fantastic nursing team in Warrington, commenting: “Throughout the Covid pandemic it has been tough, as staff had to be redeployed to wards, but everyone embraced the change.

Nicola Milkins, acting matron for clinical support services at Warrington and Halton hospitals

Nicola Milkins, acting matron for clinical support services at Warrington and Halton hospitals

“All the nurses have worked really hard, and I am really proud of them.”

Staff shortage is something which is being experienced by hospital trusts across the country, and this has led to innovative methods of recruitment.

One such way is the NHS Refugee Nurse Support Programme, which supports qualified nurse refugees in resuming their nursing careers in England.

Staff nurse Israa Mostafa joined the Warrington team through this programme, and she has praised her colleagues for making her feel so welcome and allowing her to enjoy her job.

“It had been nine months since I decided to move to the UK and work within the NHS team,” she said.

“I was a nurse for five years in Lebanon, but I came over here due to bad conditions back home, and I was encouraged by the thoughts of doing something new and improving my career.

Staff nurse Israa Mostafa

Staff nurse Israa Mostafa

“Working in a new country and in a new hospital setting that is totally different from what I used to is very difficult, but working with such lovely staff makes it more comfortable.

“People here are very lovely, and when I ask, they always help me.”

Warrington Hospital is a keen supporter of International Nurses Day, which gives the trust a perfect opportunity to praise its wonderful members of staff.

A spokesman said: “We want to promote the positive work that our nurses do and how they support the hospital.

“They work extremely hard, and this is a way to recognise that and say thank you.

“The majority of nurses are proud to be called that, and it is important that nursing is seen as fundamental to the way the trust is run.”