Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Maryam Alfa-Wali – Trauma Surgeon, St Mary’s

Maryam Alfa-Wali moved here from Kano, Northern Nigeria with her parents and nine siblings as a child. When her parents moved back Maryam chose to stay to pursue medicine at Cardiff University and embark on her specialist surgical training in London. 
Reality struck a personal chord for Maryam to become a trauma surgeon when she lost friends at university in a road traffic collision.  At the time, the UK lacked formal training programs for trauma surgeons, unlike the US. Driven by this experience, she completed a PhD and gained experience in general surgery before seeking further training in trauma surgery at the Royal London Hospital under renowned specialists. Road traffic accidents, stabbings, self-harm incidents, and falls from heights are the leading causes of trauma surgery cases in the UK. 
After graduating from medical school, Maryam has dedicated over two decades to her surgical career, overcoming numerous hurdles. Most of her siblings have moved back to Nigeria but Maryam has stayed to face a more challenging way of life here both in the NHS and the everyday, including putting together IKEA flatpack furniture joked Maryam.

Maryam Alfa-Wali – Trauma Surgeon, St Mary’s

Maryam Alfa-Wali moved here from Kano, Northern Nigeria with her parents and nine siblings as a child. When her parents moved back Maryam chose to stay to pursue medicine at Cardiff University and embark on her specialist surgical training in London.
Reality struck a personal chord for Maryam to become a trauma surgeon when she lost friends at university in a road traffic collision. At the time, the UK lacked formal training programs for trauma surgeons, unlike the US. Driven by this experience, she completed a PhD and gained experience in general surgery before seeking further training in trauma surgery at the Royal London Hospital under renowned specialists. Road traffic accidents, stabbings, self-harm incidents, and falls from heights are the leading causes of trauma surgery cases in the UK.
After graduating from medical school, Maryam has dedicated over two decades to her surgical career, overcoming numerous hurdles. Most of her siblings have moved back to Nigeria but Maryam has stayed to face a more challenging way of life here both in the NHS and the everyday, including putting together IKEA flatpack furniture joked Maryam.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Mary Boking- Permanent Cleaner in Intensive Care, Hammersmith Hospital

Mary Boking moved from the Philippines to Cyprus seventeen years ago where she worked as a domestic cleaner. Attending church on Sunday she met Stephen, an Englishman with a holiday home there. Love blossomed three with his three visits a year over a period of four years
Mary gets up at 4.45 every morning to travel from East London and works 5 days a week. She loves working in the hospital with her unit. Being part of a diverse team and having more of a focused role is much more enjoyable than being a domestic.  
For Mary to come to the UK wasn’t easy, they had to make a bank guarantee. Which meant that Stephen had to sell his holiday home in Cyprus to raise the funds.

Mary Boking- Permanent Cleaner in Intensive Care, Hammersmith Hospital

Mary Boking moved from the Philippines to Cyprus seventeen years ago where she worked as a domestic cleaner. Attending church on Sunday she met Stephen, an Englishman with a holiday home there. Love blossomed three with his three visits a year over a period of four years
Mary gets up at 4.45 every morning to travel from East London and works 5 days a week. She loves working in the hospital with her unit. Being part of a diverse team and having more of a focused role is much more enjoyable than being a domestic.
For Mary to come to the UK wasn’t easy, they had to make a bank guarantee. Which meant that Stephen had to sell his holiday home in Cyprus to raise the funds.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Albert B. King- Decontamination supervisor in endoscopic processing unit, Hammersmith Hospital

Albert King was born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He came to study in the UK in the early 80’s.
After studying English at Abbey Missionary School in London, he went on to study Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge.  During an Open Day at the Andenbrooke’s Hospital. Albert became very interested in the surgery and theatre. He was drawn to working in a hospital and ‘saving lives. Seeing people coming in sick and leaving healthy’. It’s an environment he immediately wanted to work in. He was trained and qualified as a Medical Decontamination Technician (MDT) He was assigned in Theatres to reprocess the 
medical-surgical devices and Theatre equipment making sure they are decontaminated and safe for surgical operations.
Albert is Bi-Vocational. Monday to Thursday he works in the Reprocessing Unit and Friday to Sunday as a Religious Minister in the local EIim Community Church. 
Albert’s good work stretches from the physical well-being to the spiritual well-being. Fantastic work Albert.

Albert B. King- Decontamination supervisor in endoscopic processing unit, Hammersmith Hospital

Albert King was born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He came to study in the UK in the early 80’s.
After studying English at Abbey Missionary School in London, he went on to study Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge. During an Open Day at the Andenbrooke’s Hospital. Albert became very interested in the surgery and theatre. He was drawn to working in a hospital and ‘saving lives. Seeing people coming in sick and leaving healthy’. It’s an environment he immediately wanted to work in. He was trained and qualified as a Medical Decontamination Technician (MDT) He was assigned in Theatres to reprocess the
medical-surgical devices and Theatre equipment making sure they are decontaminated and safe for surgical operations.
Albert is Bi-Vocational. Monday to Thursday he works in the Reprocessing Unit and Friday to Sunday as a Religious Minister in the local EIim Community Church.
Albert’s good work stretches from the physical well-being to the spiritual well-being. Fantastic work Albert.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Carlotta Rimondo, Ward Nurse, Oncology and Paleative Ward, Charing Cross

Carlotta Rimondo, studied nursing in her hometown in Florence. She met her boyfriend on her nursing course and moved here to be with him and learn English. 
Carlotta came pre-Brexit. It was very easy, she just had to translate her degree certificates and give them to the ‘Nursing and Midwifery Council’, now things are harder with strict English exams and more hoops to jump though.
As a Band 6 Ward sister she finds herself less patient facing as she leads a team of five nurses and three healthcare assistants on every shift. Her ward has many long-term patients and those in need of end of life care.
Other than her husband who is an ICU nurse on the floor above, medicine is not something that particularly runs in the family. That is the same boyfriend that she met back studying Nursing back in Florence. With twelve hour shifts day and night and a new baby on the scene Carlotta is now part-time.

Carlotta Rimondo, Ward Nurse, Oncology and Paleative Ward, Charing Cross

Carlotta Rimondo, studied nursing in her hometown in Florence. She met her boyfriend on her nursing course and moved here to be with him and learn English.
Carlotta came pre-Brexit. It was very easy, she just had to translate her degree certificates and give them to the ‘Nursing and Midwifery Council’, now things are harder with strict English exams and more hoops to jump though.
As a Band 6 Ward sister she finds herself less patient facing as she leads a team of five nurses and three healthcare assistants on every shift. Her ward has many long-term patients and those in need of end of life care.
Other than her husband who is an ICU nurse on the floor above, medicine is not something that particularly runs in the family. That is the same boyfriend that she met back studying Nursing back in Florence. With twelve hour shifts day and night and a new baby on the scene Carlotta is now part-time.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Zubeid Namigul- Associate Pathology Practitioner, Charing Cross
Zubeid was born in Pisshawar, Pakistan in 2000. His parents fled Afganistan for Pakistan during the Soviet war as refugees and moved to the UK when he was seven. Zubeid graduated Biomedical Sciences in 2022 and now works in cellular pathology providing the tissue samples for the consultants to make their diagnosis.
From a traditional Muslim background Zubeid had the choice of whether he wanted an arranged marriage or not and was introduced to his bride on zoom. They got to know each other remotely over three years before Zubeid headed over to Afghanistan in 2021 to meet her and marry.
Zubeid was meant to stay for 3 months to get his wife’s papers for the UK sorted but eighteen days in, actually his wife’s birthday, there was a change of government and the Taliban took over. Zubeid and his wife were evacuated on a military plane. The sudden up-rooting has meant it’s been a tough assimilation process for Zubeid’s wife, but they now have a nine-month-old daughter to keep them busy.

Zubeid Namigul- Associate Pathology Practitioner, Charing Cross
Zubeid was born in Pisshawar, Pakistan in 2000. His parents fled Afganistan for Pakistan during the Soviet war as refugees and moved to the UK when he was seven. Zubeid graduated Biomedical Sciences in 2022 and now works in cellular pathology providing the tissue samples for the consultants to make their diagnosis.
From a traditional Muslim background Zubeid had the choice of whether he wanted an arranged marriage or not and was introduced to his bride on zoom. They got to know each other remotely over three years before Zubeid headed over to Afghanistan in 2021 to meet her and marry.
Zubeid was meant to stay for 3 months to get his wife’s papers for the UK sorted but eighteen days in, actually his wife’s birthday, there was a change of government and the Taliban took over. Zubeid and his wife were evacuated on a military plane. The sudden up-rooting has meant it’s been a tough assimilation process for Zubeid’s wife, but they now have a nine-month-old daughter to keep them busy.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Chinenye Osinowo, Catering Assistant in Oncology Ward, Charing Cross

Chinenye Osinowo studied journalism back in Nigerian and worked as a reporter at a national newspaper in Lagos. She packed it in to be a mother. Her three children came to university here to study robotics and engineering, software engineering and Artificial Intelligence and physics, so Chinenye followed.
When Chinenye finished secondary school in Nigeria she went to work with her aunt as an assistant in a maternity home, where she developed an interest in caring.
Chinenye has been a catering assistant for 2 years, she looks after the patients, taking care of their nutritional needs, maintaining the cleanliness of the kitchen and the ward and the patients’ environments. 
The patients on her ward tend to be there for long period and are in end of life and Chinenye enjoys the bond he develops with them.
She misses the food, the culture and like to many international staff… the climate.

Chinenye Osinowo, Catering Assistant in Oncology Ward, Charing Cross

Chinenye Osinowo studied journalism back in Nigerian and worked as a reporter at a national newspaper in Lagos. She packed it in to be a mother. Her three children came to university here to study robotics and engineering, software engineering and Artificial Intelligence and physics, so Chinenye followed.
When Chinenye finished secondary school in Nigeria she went to work with her aunt as an assistant in a maternity home, where she developed an interest in caring.
Chinenye has been a catering assistant for 2 years, she looks after the patients, taking care of their nutritional needs, maintaining the cleanliness of the kitchen and the ward and the patients’ environments.
The patients on her ward tend to be there for long period and are in end of life and Chinenye enjoys the bond he develops with them.
She misses the food, the culture and like to many international staff… the climate.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Kui Kee Lam- Associate Pathology Practitioner, Charing Cross

Kui Kee Lam was born in Hong Kong. The United Kingdom has granted Hong Nationals who hold a British National Overseas Passport the right to live here (something they had to apply for before 1997 when Hong Kong was returned to China). The well reported crackdown on civil liberties and freedom of speech and a deep unhappiness with his two children’s education in Hong Kong, led to Kui and his family moving to Sutton in 2021.
Kui has been working in this field for more than 20 years but in order to reach the level he was in Hong Kong he must improve his English.
Kui works in Histopathology or cellular pathology. Histopathology is the diagnosis and study of diseases of the tissues, examining cells under a microscope. Kui is responsible for embedding, trimming, cutting, block 
checking, labelling and filing specimens so they can be sent to the consultant for diagnosis, mostly in oncology but also post-mortem. 
This was by far the most fascinating area of my visit and seeing a prostate and uterus on the pathologist bench was quite an eye opener.

Kui Kee Lam- Associate Pathology Practitioner, Charing Cross

Kui Kee Lam was born in Hong Kong. The United Kingdom has granted Hong Nationals who hold a British National Overseas Passport the right to live here (something they had to apply for before 1997 when Hong Kong was returned to China). The well reported crackdown on civil liberties and freedom of speech and a deep unhappiness with his two children’s education in Hong Kong, led to Kui and his family moving to Sutton in 2021.
Kui has been working in this field for more than 20 years but in order to reach the level he was in Hong Kong he must improve his English.
Kui works in Histopathology or cellular pathology. Histopathology is the diagnosis and study of diseases of the tissues, examining cells under a microscope. Kui is responsible for embedding, trimming, cutting, block
checking, labelling and filing specimens so they can be sent to the consultant for diagnosis, mostly in oncology but also post-mortem.
This was by far the most fascinating area of my visit and seeing a prostate and uterus on the pathologist bench was quite an eye opener.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Rhona Eslabra- Matron/Theatre Manager for St. Mary’s and Western Eye Hospital, St Mary’s

Rhona Eslabra was born in Cagayan Valley Philippines. Rhona was 30 when recruited by the NHS to come to UK leaving her baby daughter and husband behind. 
The difference in the working environment and more importantly the culture can make it very difficult for migrant nurses to progress, affecting their confidence. Rhona arrived as adaptation nurse where the mentors make an inform decision if one can be signed off as registered Nurse and eventually get their NMC registration. 
Rhona has done well to advance to matron and continues to widen her capabilities and enhance her expertise. She's currently completing her 'Go further': healthcare leaders fellowship - a targeted leadership development program to develop and nurture talent in our healthcare professionals from BAME background. It’s important to have diverse leaders amongst such a diverse workforce.
Her daughter followed her to the UK and just recently completed her medicine degree and will join as a doctor at Saint Marys Hospital in August.

Rhona Eslabra- Matron/Theatre Manager for St. Mary’s and Western Eye Hospital, St Mary’s

Rhona Eslabra was born in Cagayan Valley Philippines. Rhona was 30 when recruited by the NHS to come to UK leaving her baby daughter and husband behind.
The difference in the working environment and more importantly the culture can make it very difficult for migrant nurses to progress, affecting their confidence. Rhona arrived as adaptation nurse where the mentors make an inform decision if one can be signed off as registered Nurse and eventually get their NMC registration.
Rhona has done well to advance to matron and continues to widen her capabilities and enhance her expertise. She's currently completing her 'Go further': healthcare leaders fellowship - a targeted leadership development program to develop and nurture talent in our healthcare professionals from BAME background. It’s important to have diverse leaders amongst such a diverse workforce.
Her daughter followed her to the UK and just recently completed her medicine degree and will join as a doctor at Saint Marys Hospital in August.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Manar Al-Tameemi –Trainee Hospital Pharmacist, St Mary’s

Manar Al-Tameemi was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2000. Her parents migrated to Belgium to escape the war and then onto London.
As early as sixteen Manar knew she wanted to be a pharmacist. Manar stumbled upon ‘hospital pharmacy’ over ‘community pharmacy’ through a friend. She was drawn to it for the special knowledge you acquire, the patient interaction and even its social standing. Manar excelled in her  ‘Oriel’ situational and judgement test and received  her first-choice hospital ‘Imperial Trust’. She has one more exam in a month’s time then is fully qualified. 
Manar loves Iraq and visits regularly. But life in the UK as a pharmacist is where her future lies.

Manar Al-Tameemi –Trainee Hospital Pharmacist, St Mary’s

Manar Al-Tameemi was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2000. Her parents migrated to Belgium to escape the war and then onto London.
As early as sixteen Manar knew she wanted to be a pharmacist. Manar stumbled upon ‘hospital pharmacy’ over ‘community pharmacy’ through a friend. She was drawn to it for the special knowledge you acquire, the patient interaction and even its social standing. Manar excelled in her ‘Oriel’ situational and judgement test and received her first-choice hospital ‘Imperial Trust’. She has one more exam in a month’s time then is fully qualified.
Manar loves Iraq and visits regularly. But life in the UK as a pharmacist is where her future lies.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Mohamed Mohamud- General Porter, Charing Cross

Mohamed Mohamud was born in the Central region of Somaila in 1992. He only arrived here at the end of 2022. He came to join his wife here in London.
Mohamed worked as a Healthcare assistant back in Somalia. He enjoys working in healthcare and hopes to work his way up from a porter ‘step by step’. The first step being to improve his English. The NHS has English Language proficiency requirements that need to be passed that international healthcare workers need pass before being able to progress.
As a general porter he moves patients and equipment around the hospital. In my attempt to cover as many different positions and nationalities as possible within the three Trust hospitals I visited, pinning down a porter was my biggest challenge, they are the arteries of the hospital keeping it ticking and in doing so never stand still.

Mohamed Mohamud- General Porter, Charing Cross

Mohamed Mohamud was born in the Central region of Somaila in 1992. He only arrived here at the end of 2022. He came to join his wife here in London.
Mohamed worked as a Healthcare assistant back in Somalia. He enjoys working in healthcare and hopes to work his way up from a porter ‘step by step’. The first step being to improve his English. The NHS has English Language proficiency requirements that need to be passed that international healthcare workers need pass before being able to progress.
As a general porter he moves patients and equipment around the hospital. In my attempt to cover as many different positions and nationalities as possible within the three Trust hospitals I visited, pinning down a porter was my biggest challenge, they are the arteries of the hospital keeping it ticking and in doing so never stand still.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Ruth Lindsay- Senior Staff Nurse/Ward Sister Charles Pannet war, St Mary’s

Ruth Lindsay was born in Negril, Jamaica. She came to the UK at eighteen to study and visit relatives leaving her immediate family behind.
She initially studied social work and spent two years working with children, but ‘that felt more like policing than caring’.  Ruth decided her real calling was as a nurse. As part of her post-grad nursing degree Ruth did a placement on the Charles Pannet Ward, St Mary’s. She jokingly remembers it not an experience she particularly enjoyed or a place she wanted to work. 
When Covid hit Ruth had one more placement to complete her degree. In a time of national emergency, the government decided to give student nurses the option to be on the front-line. Ruth grabbed it and found herself back in Charles Pannet Ward. ‘Different and challenging times’ led to a different experience and soon after she was offered. Three years later she’s still there and loving it.

Ruth Lindsay- Senior Staff Nurse/Ward Sister Charles Pannet war, St Mary’s

Ruth Lindsay was born in Negril, Jamaica. She came to the UK at eighteen to study and visit relatives leaving her immediate family behind.
She initially studied social work and spent two years working with children, but ‘that felt more like policing than caring’. Ruth decided her real calling was as a nurse. As part of her post-grad nursing degree Ruth did a placement on the Charles Pannet Ward, St Mary’s. She jokingly remembers it not an experience she particularly enjoyed or a place she wanted to work.
When Covid hit Ruth had one more placement to complete her degree. In a time of national emergency, the government decided to give student nurses the option to be on the front-line. Ruth grabbed it and found herself back in Charles Pannet Ward. ‘Different and challenging times’ led to a different experience and soon after she was offered. Three years later she’s still there and loving it.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Fr Blaze Armadi- Roman Catholic Chaplain, Hammersmith 

As a child Blaise went to boarding school in Nigera. As early as the age of 12 he was intrigued by the school Chaplain and the attention he garnered from those around him.  So, he felt his calling.
Blaise was a priest in Nigeria for seven years. He went as a supply priest to Italy before being called to the UK in 2012, to be an assistant-parish priest in various churches around London and Manchester.
Father Blaise is a Vincentian Catholic priest who’s calling is to work with the poor, the marginalised and the sick. The path to hospital chaplain was an obvious one. 
Father Blaise Celebrates Mass, and the sacrament of reconciliation in the hospital chapel as well as  providing spiritual and pastoral support for patients and their families. Notably administering the last Rites so that those passing ‘do not feel abandoned in their final moments’.

Fr Blaze Armadi- Roman Catholic Chaplain, Hammersmith

As a child Blaise went to boarding school in Nigera. As early as the age of 12 he was intrigued by the school Chaplain and the attention he garnered from those around him. So, he felt his calling.
Blaise was a priest in Nigeria for seven years. He went as a supply priest to Italy before being called to the UK in 2012, to be an assistant-parish priest in various churches around London and Manchester.
Father Blaise is a Vincentian Catholic priest who’s calling is to work with the poor, the marginalised and the sick. The path to hospital chaplain was an obvious one.
Father Blaise Celebrates Mass, and the sacrament of reconciliation in the hospital chapel as well as providing spiritual and pastoral support for patients and their families. Notably administering the last Rites so that those passing ‘do not feel abandoned in their final moments’.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration - Alicia Weekes- Ward Administrator Charles Pannet Ward, St Mary’s

Alicia Weekes was born in Barbados in 1957. Her mother had come to work here for Lyons Cakes as part of the Windrush Generation. Alicia didn’t see her mother for 5 years before she and her two brothers were sent for when she was 10.  
When she arrived Alicia cried a lot, she missed the freedom of Barbados. However, looking out the window, the fascination and novelty of seeing the milkman arrive every everyday somehow helped. At 16 she left school and trained as a chef.  A variety of jobs followed before joining the NHS 1993.
She’s been a Ward Administrator for thirty-one years, making appointments, discharging patients and helping the doctors. She loves public facing, helping people and solving problems. The NHS has changed a lot over that time, but Alicia has a been a constant.

Alicia Weekes- Ward Administrator Charles Pannet Ward, St Mary’s

Alicia Weekes was born in Barbados in 1957. Her mother had come to work here for Lyons Cakes as part of the Windrush Generation. Alicia didn’t see her mother for 5 years before she and her two brothers were sent for when she was 10.
When she arrived Alicia cried a lot, she missed the freedom of Barbados. However, looking out the window, the fascination and novelty of seeing the milkman arrive every everyday somehow helped. At 16 she left school and trained as a chef. A variety of jobs followed before joining the NHS 1993.
She’s been a Ward Administrator for thirty-one years, making appointments, discharging patients and helping the doctors. She loves public facing, helping people and solving problems. The NHS has changed a lot over that time, but Alicia has a been a constant.

Open Britain x NHS Imperial Trust Collaboration