16 November 2023

Two nurses from Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have met royalty during a reception for overseas NHS nurses and midwives working in the UK, hosted by King Charles III.

Matt Achurra, Clinical Educator, and André dos Santos, Matron (Surgery) were among 400 nurses and midwives from across the UK who attended the prestigious event at Buckingham Palace, which also coincided with the King’s birthday.

Matt arrived in the UK from the Phillipines in 1999 and has been at Royal Papworth since 2016. He met His Majesty The King in person and shook his hand, before wishing him a happy birthday.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime event that I was privileged to attend,” explained Matt.

“I will treasure this as part of my career here in the NHS and an experience that I will share and cherish with my children and future grandchildren.”

Meanwhile André moved to the UK from Portugal in 2011 and joined Royal Papworth earlier this year. He spoke with HRH Duchess of Gloucester, who is also patron of our hospital.

“It was a great opportunity to meet and network with guests of all parts of the realm from different nationalities and backgrounds,” said André.

“It was an honour and pleasure to speak with the Duchess of Gloucester too. I explained how proud I am of my role as a matron and our team on level 5, for their hard work and dedication.”


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André (left) and Matt (right) outside Buckingham Palace


Maura Screaton, Chief Nurse at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust added, “Matt and André were richly deserving of this royal invitation by His Majesty the King, at a reception at Buckingham Palace celebrating overseas nurses working in the UK.

"We are incredibly proud of them both - as we are all of our overseas nurses here at Royal Papworth Hospital - for their commitment to our patients and the NHS. 

"Overseas nurses bring excellence, a diversity of skills, and a cultural vibrancy to our hospital, helping us to provide inclusive care to our patients of all backgrounds. It's why we go above and beyond to provide outstanding pastoral support to nurses who arrive from outside the UK, at every stage of their journey. 

"We thank them both for representing Royal Papworth Hospital at such a prestigious event.”