AN NHS worker said she is overwhelmed to be chosen to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
Ann Vestergaard, who works for Solent NHS Trust, will attend the Queen’s Garden Party next week.
I couldn’t believe it. It will be a wonderful end to my NHS careerAnn Vestergaard
The 69-year-old has spent the last 27 years working for healthcare services in Portsmouth and will be retiring just 12 days after the NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Ann, a specialist women’s health physiotherapist, was nominated to attend the exclusive party by her manager Sally Frost. She was then chosen from all the nominees by Solent chief executive Sue Harriman.
She is taking her daughter Susan along with her to the party on Tuesday.
Ann said: ‘I was overjoyed when I was told I had been chosen from all the nominations.
‘I couldn’t believe it. It will be a wonderful end to my NHS career.
‘It was an honour and a privilege to be asked.
‘Myself and my daughter are both really excited.
‘We hope we will get to actually meet the Queen as I have never met royalty before.
‘Everyone I’ve told has been really pleased for me.’
Ann was born as a twin on July 17, 1948 and said she was probably one of the first sets of twins born in the NHS.
She has worked in health roles all over the world for most of her life including in Denmark, Hong Kong, Tanzania and Botswana.
After her work abroad, she moved back to England and started working for the NHS in Portsmouth.
Ann added: ‘Since I started working for the NHS there have been some huge changes.
‘One of the biggest has been the use of computers and how much we rely on them nowadays.
‘I used to have slips of papers and lots of folders but now it is all on the computer.’
Ann said she has enjoyed her career in the NHS but is looking forward to retiring and spending more time travelling to see family.
She also hopes to run more marathons and is keen to combine her love of travelling by running 26-mile races in different countries.
‘I never got up in the morning and thought “oh dear, I have work” but rather “which patients am I to see today?’ she said.
‘I have great patients and I like that I have helped make a difference to their lives.
‘That’s how all physiotherapists should feel.
‘I have always loved my job but I am looking forward to the next stage of my life.’
Ann is retiring on her 70th birthday.