Duriye’s story

Name: Duriye Beidas

Role: Health Advocate in the Equity Team

Started with the NHS: 1975 as a Trainee SRN nurse at Mildmay Mission Hospital in Shoreditch East London and trained at Royal London Hospital Whitechapel.

What was your first job in the NHS: SRN a night duty Staff Nurse.

What led you to choose a career in the NHS: A Sunday school teacher at Church felt I could train as my family situation was so difficult it would be needed to help them.
She was proved right as years later family did become gravely ill and both parents and siblings required extensive care.

What is the one experience from your time in the NHS that you will never forget: When a Consultant at the Royal London Hospital delayed payment of his fees after doing a hysterectomy to remove cancer for my mother. He saw her in the private wing and allowed me to pay whenever I could. I didn’t finish paying till after her death and he kept in touch and offered support until all done.

Do you have a funny story to share: A couple came for family planning advice to a doctor and had a health advocate to help them understand the information. Months later at their check up appointment, the wife was pregnant and blamed the medication. The husband explained he took the medication as advised but it didn’t work. His wife was forgetful so to make sure no unwanted pregnancies happened he took the medication. Soon after, she had the coil fitted and their family stopped growing. We still talk about it today.

What is your greatest achievement: Seeing my daughter go into similar work – both paid and voluntary – helping services to grow and train staff to provide excellent services and have a positive impact on the community they serve – be they people in recovery, GP, community, voluntary and hospital services. The knock-on effect is that her children follow her example and know about social issues and the reality of life but at the same time see and participate in all the good things in life.

What are your hopes for the future: To be part of a change in services to provide a dentistry benefit for vulnerable groups all across the country. Bad oral health costs the NHS millions in emergency care.