Nurse consultant awarded MBE in New Year's Honours

30 Dec 2023, 8 a.m.

Nurse Lindy is leaning over a white cot. She's wearing a blue nurse uniform with a tall white hat. She's smiling and has curly brown hair. There are lots of festive decorations behind her.

A nurse who dedicated her entire career to GOSH’s neurosurgical department has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

Lindy Voos née May, who worked at GOSH for 42 years, has been given the MBE for services to paediatric neurosurgical nursing.

After training at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Lindy decided to specialise in paediatric neurosurgery and went on to get a PhD and master's degree in neuroscience and a diploma in counselling.

Lindy’s story

Lindy began her nurse training in 1979. At the end of her first year, she worked on a neurosurgical ward at GOSH and thought ‘this is it, this is what I want to do.’

She said: “I was really inspired by the ward sister, Sister Harvey, who took me under her wing, she was so full of enthusiasm that I picked it up. Everyone kept saying you need to spread your wings, but I knew this is where I want to be.”

At the time the ward was called 1BE, then Parrot ward and more recently merged with the neurology ward to become Koala Ward.

Some of the biggest changes that Lindy encountered during her career were when parents were allowed to stay alongside their children at night, and the acquisition of an MRI scanner was also a major step forward in the management of neurosurgical patients.

When asked what advice she’d give to new nurses she said: “Find a speciality you enjoy and a ward that makes you feel like you belong.

“You give empathy and care in huge amounts, but it’s no good if you’re too burnt out to give that to the next family. You have to find a balance.

“And take advantage of opportunities, GOSH is really good at supporting further education.”

Nurse Lindy is wearing a blue uniform with a tall white hat. She's sat down opening a present and smiling.

‘It’s a huge privilege to work with families’

Lindy has worked with many, many families throughout her career.

She said: “It’s a huge privilege to work with families at a time that is such a nightmare for them. You feel very fortunate to be in a position where you can perhaps make their journey a little easier.

“But it’s not about being an individual, it’s about being part of a multi-disciplinary team who work together to provide the best care possible for each child and family. It’s about supporting your colleagues, providing education and leadership, and sharing knowledge and skills within GOSH, nationally and internationally.

“There are of course many tears, but there is also humour and laughter, and that's one of the many things that is so special about working with children”.

Lindy retired in 2020, but in the past few months has returned to GOSH as a volunteer, with her therapy dog, Ruby. Lindy and Ruby also volunteer at her local hospital.

She said, “When I was at work I could see how much pleasure the therapy dogs brought to staff, patients and families.

“They just make people smile, and that's a great thing to do.”

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