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Yvonne Coghill: Grenfell Tower nurse makes me proud of our profession

Simone Williams, one of the first nurses on the scene at the Grenfell Tower fire, worked through the night to help those affected. Her selflessness, kindness and caring are an inspiration to us all, says Yvonne Coghill.

Simone Williams, one of the first nurses on the scene at the Grenfell Tower fire, worked through the night to help those affected. Her selflessness, kindness and caring are an inspiration to us all, says Yvonne Coghill

Simone Williams
Simone Williams speaks at the Workforce Race Equality Conference.

On 31 October, the last day of Black History Month, we held the second Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) conference in London.

The conference was a great reminder that the NHS is made up of people from many different backgrounds, but who all have one thing in common – our desire to care. Early feedback shows it was a successful event, which we are delighted about.

One of the keynote speakers was Simone Williams, a community palliative care nurse at University College Hospital in London, who was one of the first nurses on the scene at the Grenfell Tower fire in west London in June.

Duty to help

I had met Simone a few weeks earlier after being introduced by a colleague, and asked her to tell her story at the conference. What I didn’t know was how truly amazing she had been on the night of the fire.

After hearing about the incident at 1am, she raced to the scene and worked through the night, helping those coming out of the building, treating people at the scene and supporting those in need. ‘As a nurse, it’s my duty to help,’ she said.

Simone’s nursing instinct and training kicked in immediately, and she showed incredible selflessness, kindness and caring.

Simone Williams, you make me proud to be a nurse.


Yvonne Coghill is director of the Workforce Race Equality Standard implementation programme at NHS England
@WRES_team

 

 

Read more: 

Race equality in the NHS: A plan for progress

 

 

 

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