Edwin Dela Cruz is the Head of Nursing Practice Development and Education in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
Where did you study nursing?
I studied Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Lyceum Northwestern University in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, Philippines and graduated in 1990. I also completed my BSc (Hons) Nurse Practitioner’s Degree in Buckinghamshire New University, England in 2003.
Why did you choose nursing as a career?
I have this love and passion of helping others achieve their goals. The nursing profession gives me a unique opportunity to help patients work towards achieving a healthy state of being, one of the most essential aspects of life. The most rewarding nature of my job combined with stable work opportunities have motivated me to pursue a career in nursing. I am grateful that I am now working as the Head of Nursing Practice Development and Education in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital here in London.
Where did you work before coming to the UK? For how long?
I have been on various fields of nursing from clinical to academe for almost ten years in the Philippines. I started as a volunteer nurse in the Philippine Heart Centre for Asia, then followed by working as a clinical instructor in Lyceum Northwestern University and eventually working as Dean of the College of Nursing in Lyceum Northern Luzon before migrating to the United Kingdom in 1999.
How would you compare working in the UK with where you worked before?
There are big differences working in the Philippines and in the UK ie. salaries, hospital processes, equipment, terminologies, culture, language and others. However, when it comes to patient care and providing high standards of service, there is not much difference. We always show compassion, care and professionalism to our patients which is what nursing is all about.
What do you like about being a nurse? What don’t you like about it, if any?
What I like being a nurse is that I am able to make a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. In the nursing profession, I deal with many aspects of patient care and I enjoy the variety in our routines. The hardest part of being a nurse is dealing with patient’s death. But that is part of the journey that every nurse has to deal with and this what makes us more stronger and appreciate life.
What are the qualities of a good health professional?
The qualities of a good healthcare professional are to incorporate a range of attributes and characteristics that include competence, confidence, empathy, compassion, understanding, patience, good manners, verbal and non-verbal communication and non-judgemental attitude.
What can you say about Filipino nurses working for the National Health Service? Are Filipino nurses important to the NHS? Why?
Filipino nurses working in the National Health Service (NHS) are known to be very hardworking, highly skilled, loyal and always possess the tender loving care to their patients. One of my senior managers told me in the past that the Filipino nurses are very important in the NHS because it won’t survive without our nurses. Currently, there are estimated 40,000 Filipino nurses working in the NHS. Did you know that the NHS is one of the biggest employer in the world with 1.7 million workers?
What do you like most about living in the UK?
I love living in the UK particularly in London because it is a beautiful vibrant metropolitan city. The sheer diversity of this place is amazing. You can find everything here. The freedom and history which seeps out of every brick and tile. There are a lot of parks, open spaces and hidden gems everywhere. The friendliness of the people and the variety of sumptuous food offered by thousands of restaurants and shops from around the world is incomparable. I just love the colour, scent and sheer energy of this place. When I go to the countryside; the scenery, coasts, historical landmarks and the quintessentially English villages are simply breathtaking. Furthermore, living in the UK offers opportunities and benefits such as free education for children and health services for all.
Do you intend to stay in the UK for good? Why?
Yes, I wanted to stay in the UK due to the many benefits it offers. I have my family, all my three children were born here, career and house and we’re now settled here. Of courses, we still have our house in the Philippines so I will still continue to visit our beloved Philippines. I will always cherish where I was born.
What are your career plans and other future goals?
I wanted to aspire for the next level and that is probably to go for the next senior management level. My future goal is to continue exploring the world. I love travelling and adventure… if not of this COVID-19 pandemic, I should have gone visiting more countries this year. We need to enjoy life whilst we are still strong and young. With God, everything is possible!