Dorset NHS nurse Deepa’s “pure joy” after meeting the King on his birthday

A DORSET nurse said shaking hands with the King was “beyond my dreams” after an invite to Buckingham Palace.

Deepa Pappu, equality, diversity, and inclusion lead at University Hospitals Dorset (UHD), attended a special reception hosted by King Charles to celebrate the role of international nurses and midwifes in the UK.

She received the invitation after NHS England recognised her contributions to nursing in her role as professional nurse advocate.

“I am deeply moved by His Majesty’s thoughtful gesture of spending time with international nurses and midwives on his birthday,” she said.

“It was one of the most memorable days of my career.”

Deepa joined the NHS as an internationally-educated nurse from Kerala, South India, in 2004.

Throughout her career she has worked hard to welcome other nurses as they arrive in the county and during the Covid-19 pandemic, she supported new arrivals who were isolated from their home support systems.

Now, in her new role as equality, diversity and inclusion lead, Deepa continues to ensure colleagues across the trust feel at home at UHD.

However, she said relatives and friends back in Kerala were all aware of her trip to the palace.

“My family back home and friends around the world were super excited,” she said.

“The kind and happy messages from my colleagues made me feel truly loved.

“To be invited to the palace and shake hands with The King was beyond my dreams. It was pure joy.”

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