A top nurse from the Epsom-St Helier NHS Trust has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Chief Nurse at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, Arlene Wellman, said she was "truly humbled" after her remarkable efforts as a nurse were recognized by the Queen.

Arlene, who grew up in Trinidad and Tobago, is also the director of Infection Prevention and Control at the Trust, has worked there since 2018 and is directly responsible for organising nursing, midwifery and healthcare support.

Epsom-St Helier said she played an "integral role" in the hospitals’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic and has led on the delivery of key improvements in recent years.

"I am truly humbled to be awarded an MBE, and was very surprised to be told I would be receiving an honour – it hasn’t really sunk in yet!" She said.

"Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, I knew from an early age that I wanted to help people, and a career in nursing has allowed me to do just that. I am proud to be a nurse, and proud to lead the wonderful, caring team at Epsom and St Helier.

"In fact, this recognition is acknowledgment of all that we have achieved together, and I remain grateful for all of the hard work and dedication that our nurses, midwives and healthcare support workers show on a daily basis.

"I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the teams of Epsom and St Helier, who always go above and beyond and have shown a remarkable level of courage and compassion during the past difficult year," Arlene added.

Congratulations and thanks meanwhile poured in from Arlene's colleagues, including Trust Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles.

"We could not be prouder of Arlene. She is an exceptional nursing leader, and thoroughly deserves this amazing recognition for the outstanding work she has done," he said.

Chairman Gillian Norton, added: "I would like to say a huge congratulations to Arlene on being awarded an MBE – this honour is so well-deserved, and is testament to the outstanding care Arlene and her team provide for our patients.

"Arlene’s calm professionalism and compassionate nature are an inspiration to us all."