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Ashgate Hospice > NHS 75th anniversary: Ashgate Hospice nurse Sophie’s visit to Downing Street

A couple of weeks ago on 5th July, our Specialist Palliative Care Nurse, Sophie Dudley, visited 10 Downing Street to celebrate 75 years of the NHS. Here is what Sophie said about the day:

“Visiting Number 10 was an incredible experience. I felt so honoured to be invited to celebrate the NHS’ 75th birthday. It was surreal getting to go the other side of the gates, never mind inside Number 10!

“It was really special to be there and meet so many healthcare professionals from all different regions and backgrounds. The stories I heard were incredible and people were extremely impressed to hear what we did as a hospice too.

“Inside Number 10 was absolutely beautiful. I got very excited to see the famous Hugh Grant staircase from Love Actually – of course we had to have a little boogie down it! We wandered around Number 10 to take it all in, while enjoying some drinks and canapes.

Sophie with security guard outside the door of 10 Downing Street
Sophie stroking Larry the Cat inside 10 Downing Street
Postcard of Larry the Cat
Sophie with Andrew Wright from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on Downing Street

“The Prime Minister did come by to see us, but had to dash as he was headed to another awards ceremony, so I sadly didn’t get to speak to him, however, I was able to speak to the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay and I tried to push palliative care where I could. The Chief Nursing Officer, Ruth May, was so lovely and very interested in the hospice and the work we are doing on our Virtual Ward. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Thérèse Coffey, was absolutely hilarious and told lots of funny stories about hiring and firing at Number 10!

“The star of my day, without any insult to the other incredible people I met, was definitely Larry the Cat. I will be forever grateful to the security guards for humouring me and taking me to meet him! They even sneakily gave me a postcard of him that I will treasure forever.

“Overall, it was a lovely day of networking, chatting about palliative care and our hospice, whilst soaking up the opportunity of being in Number 10. The whole day was very surreal and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity.”

Sophie also met Andrew Wright, LD/Autism In-Reach Lead for Adult Neurodevelopmental Services at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who was also attending the event.

Find out more about the work of our Palliative Care Specialist Nurses.