All our working lives


“[Q]uestions about solidarity and what binds people together need to be at the forefront of our work of rethinking and reimagining society in an era of super-diversity” — Nandon Sigona1


I spent the first half of 2016 as the Photographer in Residence at University College London Hospital, one of London's largest and busiest hospitals right in the heart of the city. Commissioned by the hospitals’ arts trust, UCLH Arts & Heritage, my brief was to produce a series of staff portraits “that celebrates the diversity and cultural heritage” of the hospital’s workforce.


On researching diversity and cultural identity in preparation for this project, I came across the work of Steven Vertovec and his ideas on “super-diversity”2, which describe how Britain, and London in particular, has moved from being seen as multicultural to being super-diverse, characterised by multiple ethnicities and cultures, each one itself made up of peoples with diverse backgrounds, differing socio-economic statuses, and ages. A “diversification of diversity” to use Vertovec’s phrase3.


Whilst many, including myself, see the benefits such a rich mix brings, care is needed as immigration is of course a highly politicised issue. What interests me most about Vertovec’s notion is that in such a super-diverse society, with so many identities to negotiate, difference has become commonplace, and so a new concern has arisen: the possibility that focusing attention on what makes us different could lead to an atomisation, and in the extreme to the annihilation, of society1.


In recognition of this, my work aimed to produce images that both acknowledge the many differences inherent in the hospital’s workforce but more importantly emphasises the aspects of working in healthcare that are universal — dedication, love, commitment, care — as I believe these are the things that bind people together and foster a sense of solidarity and unity.



1. Sigona, Nando. 2014. What future for diversity research? Available at: https://nandosigona.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/what-future-for-diversity-research/ (Accessed: 20 December 2015).
2. Vertovec, Steven. 2014. ‘Reading “Super-Diversity”’, in Anderson, B. and Keith, M. (eds.) Migration: A COMPAS Anthology. Oxford: COMPAS.
3. Vertovec, Steven. 2007: p. 1025. ‘Super-diversity & its implications’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30(6), pp. 1024–1025.

Judith Murray, Midwife


Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, Judith settled in the UK in 1987. Having previously gained a diploma in Nursing, and a degree in Midwifery from Canterbury Christ Church University, Judith is currently in her second year of a Masters degree in Maternal and Child Healthcare at St George's, University of London. Additionally she speaks German, Russian and Shona. Judith, who is 45, has been employed at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Wing for six years.

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Dr Amitava Banerjee, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Clinical Data Science and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist (2016)


Ami, 38, (left) was born and raised in Hull, East Yorkshire, and is of Indian Bengali heritage. Having studied medicine at Oxford and gaining a doctorate, Ami started his career as a doctor in 2002 before moving to UCLH in 2015.

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Anitha Syamala, Clinical Physiologist (2016)


Anitha, 36, (left) achieved a BSc in Physics before gaining a Diploma in Neurotechnology. Born and raised in Kerala, India, Anitha started her career in 2003 and has been at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery since 2010.

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Charlotte Austen, Obstetrics and Gynaecology trainee (left), Asma Eissa, Consultant Obstetrician (centre), and Ademola Adeola, Student Operating Department Practitioner (right)

Charlotte, 34, (left) was born in Greece and moved to Kent as a child. She left school at 16 but returned to study medicine aged 25. She says doing so was the best decision of her life.

Gaining her first degree in Juba University, Sudan, Asma (centre) lived in Oman before completing her research doctorate in medicine at University College London. Asma, who has been working at UCLH for the past five months, describes herself as “a lucky Muslim, British black-African women” that has loved and benefited from this rich mix of cultures.


Ademola (right), 41, is a Londoner who spent part of his childhood in Nigeria. He started working at UCLH in 2010 after gaining an Access to Nursing qualification at Tower Hamlets College. Ademola is now a fully qualified Operating Department Practitioner.

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Ada Ferenkeh-Koroma, Clinical and Senior Research Nurse Specialist, Rheumatology


Having started her career in nursing in 1992, Ada has worked at UCLH for nearly 21 years, gaining an MSc in Rheumatology Nursing. Ada, who speaks three languages, was born and raised in Sierra Leone and describes herself as an Anglo-African. She says “I still wake up every day enthusiastic about my job, keen to make an impact in the lives of my patients and seeking to inspire the next generation of nurses.”

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Christpher Cabalan, Nursing Assistant


Christpher, 30, a devoted Roman Catholic, started his career in nursing in 2012. Originally from the Philippines, Christpher has been working at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery for the past two years. He holds a Bachelors Degree and likes to play basketball in his spare time.

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Connie Nassuna, Staff Nurse


Connie (centre) started her career in nursing at UCLH in 2013. She now works at both UCH and the NHNN. Connie was born in Kampala, Uganda, moved to the UK when she was 13, and later studied at London Southbank University. Connie holds an Advance Diploma in nursing and enjoys playing netball in her spare time.

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Connor Thompson MRPharmS, Rotational Pharmacist


Connor, 26, originally from Sussex, is in his first year at UCLH after graduating with a first class Master of Pharmacy degree from the University of Brighton. Because of his ability to make a real difference to his patients’ experience and their health outcomes, he has “phenomenal job satisfaction” and this is achieved in part by “just being a friendly face” and by his letting the patient know he has their best interests at heart. Connor is currently working towards a Post Graduate Diploma at UCL.

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Eleanor Young, Bank Nursing Assistant


Eleanor, a Londoner, 61, started nursing in 2003 and has been at UCLH for the past year. Before nursing, Eleanor worked as a Legal Secretary, but by the time she was 48 she was ready for a change: “I saw a job for a Nursing Assistant, I applied and got it. Since then I have not looked back. I enjoy my work very much. The best part is meeting so many different people, and, of course, looking after the patients.” Eleanor has a Level 2 NVQ in Care and has completed “1:1 Specials” training.

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Emilio Bastida Riquelme, Midwife


When Emilio, 28, (left) started nursing he cared for people in the last stages of their lives. It was this experience he says that “made me realise I really wanted to work in a profession that would allow me to witness the birth of new life.” Emilio's overriding objective as a midwife is to “empower all women during their pregnancy to achieve their wishes in birth.” Emilio, who is from Murcia in Spain, holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Midwifery and works in the EGA’s Birth Centre and Antenatal Clinic.

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Farida Kamara BSc (Hons) RGN SCM, Senior Anaesthetic Practitioner (left), and Arunita Jha, Consultant Anaesthetist (right)

Farida (left) was born in Penang, Malaysia, and describes herself as a devoted Muslim of Indian origin. She relocated to Scotland in 1976 to train as a nurse gaining a degree in Adult Nursing from Glasgow University. A Senior Anaesthetic Practitioner and also a qualified Midwife, Farida started working at UCLH in 2009.

Arunita (right) is a Consultant Anaesthetist originally from Burnley in Lancashire, England.

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Fatima Maguire, Receptionist


Fatima, 49, has been working as the receptionist at the busy Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital for over three years. This year she received the “RNTNEH and EDH Spring Star Kindness Award” for her dedication and hard work. Raised in the Philippines, Fatima describes herself as a British-Filipino.

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Geeta Vekaria, Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialist


Geeta, 37, originally from Bolton, England, gained her BSc (Hons) in Adult Nursing at the University of Hertfordshire. She started her career in 2000, moving to UCLH in 2012.

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Hassan Saleh, Security Officer, and Whyte Alade, Security Officer

Hassan (left) first started working at UCLH in 2006. Born in Somalia, Hassan moved to the UK in 1995 to be reunited with his parents. He has worked almost exclusively within the NHS since then.

Whyte, 67, (right) who has been with UCLH for seven years, started working in security in 1990 before which he worked in banking. He holds an HND in Business Administration.

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Helen Grote, Neurology Specialist Registrar


Inspired by the TV documentary “Jimmy’s” Helen studied Medicine and Surgery at Cambridge before gaining a doctorate from Oxford. Profoundly deaf from birth, she doesn't consider herself to have a disability. Helen, who works in both UCH and NHNN, says “I love my job. I enjoy the contact with patients, and the diagnostic challenges. It’s a privilege to be able to work at UCLH.” However, she fears for the future of the NHS in England and is contemplating a move back to her native Scotland once she completes her training.

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Jonny Esposito, Fracture Clinic Lead


Jonny, 46, has been at UCLH for two years. He started his career in the NHS aged 19 undertaking various roles which include outreach work helping young homeless-people, nursing in Accident and Emergency Acute Admissions, as well as on the Cardio Ward. He was raised in Highbury, London. His father is from Jamaica and his mother, Italy.

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Katy Judd, Consultant Nurse


Katy, 55, (right) has been at UCLH for 18 years. She started training as a psychiatric nurse in 1980 before switching to general nursing. She has been alternating between the two fields ever since. Based at the NHNN, Katy currently works with patients experiencing young onset, and unusual, dementias. Katy holds a Masters in Medical Ethics, and is conversant in British Sign Language. She was born and raised in the Sutton suburbs, where she still lives.

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Lisa Adamson, Theatre Nurse Practitioner


Lisa (centre), who was raised in Wood Green in north London, has been working at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Wing for the past four years after starting her career in 2002. Lisa holds a BSc in Adult Nursing.

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Arunita Jha, Consultant Anaesthetist, and Lisa Adamson, Theatre Nurse Practitioner

Arunita (left) is a Consultant Anaesthetist originally from Burnley in Lancashire, England.

Lisa (centre), who was raised in Wood Green in north London, has been working at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Wing for the past four years after starting her career in 2002. Lisa holds a BSc in Adult Nursing.

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Lorraine Manning, Staff Nurse


Lorraine, born in England, moved to Holland aged 15 where she lived for nearly 14 years. On holiday in the Caribbean island of Aruba, Lorraine won a beauty-queen competition becoming “Miss Aruba Highwinds 1989” and ended up staying for the next year to fulfil the duties that came with the title. “That was such a great time”, she says. Lorraine, who is a Born Again Christian, holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Adult Nursing.

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Marcia Morgan, Capital Construction & Procurement Projects Co-ordinator


Marcia, 51, who works at Maple House in Tottenham Court Road, was raised in London. Starting at 7am or earlier to get through her demanding workload, Marcia is one of the first members of staff in her office each day. She has a BTEC in Public Administration and is part AAT qualified.

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Margaret Vincent, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Multiple Sclerosis Nursing Team


“Mainly up trees in Epping Forest” is how Margaret (left) replies when asked where she spent her childhood. Margaret, 58, who is based at the NHNN, speaks French and Italian and describes herself as a European. She is a communicant Anglican who enjoys choral singing, and playing second violin in a string quartet. Margaret makes clothes for herself and family, recently undertaking a BTECH in pattern cutting. And, when time allows, she can be found making varieties of sourdough bread.

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Mohamed Conteh, Linen Distributor


Mohamed, 28, started work at the University College Hospital in 2007 after completing an NVQ in Childcare at Hackney Community College. In 2005, Mohamed came with his parents to settle in London from their home in Freetown, Sierra Leone. A keen footballer, Mohamed plays for the Junior Leone Stars as part of a Sunday league.

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Pat O'Brien, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (left), and Natasha Liou, Junior Doctor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (centre)

Pat (left), a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, (left) became a Consultant in 1999 and has worked on and off at UCLH since 1994. He is based at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Wing. Pat, an Irish citizen who voted to stay in the EU, started his medical training in 1981 and began working as a doctor in 1987. “There's no miracle in life greater than the moment of childbirth!” declares Pat.

Natasha, 28, (centre) was born in America and spent her childhood between there and Singapore. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery as well as a Master of Science. She has been working at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Wing for the past year, having started her career three years ago. Natasha said of her photograph: “My glasses often slide down my nose. I tape my glasses to my forehead when I’m operating so I don’t have to get an assistant to push them back up!”

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Niamh Brady, Children's Nursing Student and Bank Healthcare Assistant


Already holding a degree in English and Anthropology, Niamh, 27, will soon gain a Bachelor of Science in Children's Nursing. She began her nursing studies in 2013 and started work at UCLH in 2015. Coming from a “close-knit community” in County Cavan, Niamh describes herself as “Irish through and through”. “We tend to be very passionate about our culture”, she says, “I think this shows in my respect for other people’s culture, and is what led me to study Anthropology and live in New York, Munich and now London. I love how diverse London (and UCLH!) is. It’s one of its most appealing traits.”

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Nick Fox, Professor of Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist


Nick, 55, (centre) qualified in medicine in 1989 and started work at UCLH in 1993. Born in the UK, Nick grew up in Jamaica. The photograph captures Nick, and colleagues Dr James Gratwicke (left) and Professor Martin Rossor (right), at a multi-disciplinary Cognitive Clinic meeting at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery where they are discussing the patients they have seen and planning further investigations and support.

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Ying Jia, Senior Phlebotomist


Raised in Shanghai and formerly a professional ballerina, Ying, 55, has been working at UCLH for 15 years after gaining a degree in nursing from the Naval Academy of China.

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Rachael Edwards, Occupational Therapist (left), and Naomi Algeo, Occupational Therapist (centre)


Rachael, 27, (left) originally from Somerset, England, started her career in 2010 after gaining a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy. At the time the photograph was taken she had been at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery just three months.

Naomi, 25, (centre) moved to London from her native Ireland in 2015 to start her first role as a clinical Occupational Therapist. Prior to this she had been working as a researcher at the University of Southampton. Naomi works a six month rotational post within UCLH and is currently at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. She has been at UCLH for just over one year. Born in Dublin, Naomi grew up in County Westmeath, and studied in County Galway. “All junior Occupational Therapists here are Irish”, comments Naomi, “A lot of patients have an Irish background too, so my accent has come in handy at times to build a rapport!” In September she starts a NIHR-funded Masters in Clinical Research at City University, London.

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Ramesh Pydiah, Medical Photographic Manager


Ramesh, 48, has been working as a clinical photographer at UCLH for 26 years. Born in Lambeth to Mauritian parents and raised in Tooting he sees himself as a “South Londoner at heart”. He holds a degree which he gained at University College London and recommends that, “now we are blessed with the digital age and mobile phones, everyone should try their hand at photography. Everyone views the world with a different perspective!”

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Robert Kennedy, Senior Assistant Technical Officer


Robert, 53, has been an ATO at the Adult Hearing Aid Centre, The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, for eight years. He previously worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Keele's Department of Communication and Neuroscience. Of British, Irish and Czech ancestry, Robert is himself from Canada. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from Durham University.

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Sahar Walizada, Staff Nurse


Sahar, 31, a practising Muslim, studied nursing at London's South bank University, qualifying in 2007. She started work at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in 2008. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sahar, aged 14, travelled to the UK accompanied by her two brothers to escape the war at home.

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Sallam Tutu, Senior Phlebotomist


Tutu, as he prefers to be known, (right) gained a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery in Omdurman Islamic University, Sudan in 2001. He has been working as a phlebotomist at UCLH since 2014 whilst he undertakes the registration process to practice medicine in the UK. Tutu, who is 42, is from Kadugli in southern Sudan.

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Mrs Bertha Bernasko Asante, Senior Theatre Nurse Practitioner


Bertha, 44, shown here opening the theatre doors at the EGA, qualified as a General Nurse in 1996 in her native Ghana. Later she gained an Advance Diploma before moving to Manchester to work as a Peri-Operative Senior Nurse. In 2005 she joined her husband in London, initially working at the Middlesex Hospital. During her time at UCLH Bertha has gained an Honours degree in Health Studies at London South Bank University. She takes an active role in her church as well as the Girl’s Brigade.

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