Ipswich mental health nurse 'humbled' by Number 10 invite

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with NSFT Matron Priscilla Nzounhenda at 10 Downing Street.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with NSFT Matron Priscilla Nzounhenda at 10 Downing Street. - Credit: Timothy Hammond

A "compassionate and kind" nurse from Ipswich was invited to 10 Downing Street because of her work to improve the experience of people receiving mental health care.

Priscilla Nzounhenda, Matron at Lark Ward, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's (NSFT) psychiatric intensive care unit in Ipswich, was invited to a garden party on July 4 to celebrate 74 years of the health service.

Priscilla chatted with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former health secretary Sajid Javid.

She said: "It was surreal, standing at the door of No 10 where world leaders have stood and then stepping into the hallway, I thought I was dreaming.

Priscilla Nzounhenda, NSFT Matron, outside 10 Downing Street. Credit: NSFT

Priscilla Nzounhenda, NSFT Matron, outside 10 Downing Street. - Credit: NSFT

"When the invitation arrived from No.10, I was really emotional. I feel so grateful and genuinely humbled to have been chosen."

She was nominated by Lisa Nobes, director of nursing at the then Suffolk and North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, and the NSFT chief nurse, Diane Hull.

Diane said: "Priscilla is compassionate, considered, kind and clinically credible.

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England, with NSFT Matron Priscilla Nzounhenda at 10 Downing Street.

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England, with NSFT Matron Priscilla Nzounhenda at 10 Downing Street. - Credit: Timothy Hammond

"Her excitement is infectious and her ability to enthuse and inspire, renowned. She is a very special person and a wonderful nurse."