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Our commitment to you - profiles


Nwora Melie, Embryologist

Watching Dr Who was what embryologist Nwora Melie liked best about England when he arrived from Nigeria – but that was in 1975 and he was only 10 years old at the time.


Back in 1975, Nwora was here for a family holiday. Since then he has had a globe-spanning scientific education - from America to Africa and back again to England – before accrediting his overseas qualifications for their UK equivalent and being snapped up by RD&E for a Band 7 embryologist post back in 2007. Our selection panel were impressed with the quality management skills he had honed back in Nigeria and wanted him to undertake similar work here.


Nwora loves his scientific work treating fertility issues as well as the management aspect of his role. He always aims to “be as good as I can be in my job”. His managers at RD&E have spotted this and made full use of his talents.Nwora was promoted to Quality Manager for our fertility clinic and has had the opportunity to develop his management skills, too.“I’ve always been very well supported”, he says.


What does Nwora like about England? “Everything has a proper process and is well-ordered,” he says, “and I still enjoy Dr Who, although now with my two daughters!”


Dandra Loney-Ratteray, Staff Nurse

Dandra Ratteray is seriously impressed with the nursing profession in the UK. So much so, she uprooted from her native Trinidad and Tobago back in 1991 and came all the way to London to pursue a nursing career.

“Nursing is full of opportunities here,” she explains, “it is diverse and you get promoted based on what you’ve accomplished, not how long you’ve been around.”

Dandra came to RD&E back in 2008. “Life in Devon seemed strange to start with,” she says.”I walked down the street and didn’t see anyone of colour. I’d stop and ask directions and people would just ignore me.”

“Sometimes you get comments from patients,” she adds, “like “another one of them”. I’ve learnt to take these things for what they are, though.” Patients can be a bit wary of her to start with, but, as Dandra says, “that soon wears away, once they see I’m friendly and caring.”

Dandra is enjoying being in Devon. “It’s quiet and green, like being on holiday,” she says, “although I miss the 365 days a year of sunshine in Trinidad and Tobago!”

Dandra loves nursing, which, she explains, “has given me a set of experiences I can take anywhere.”


Babinder Sandhar, Consultant


Babinder Sandhar

Babinder was only five years old when she came to England. Her earliest memories  are of how much it rained, white bread – and missing out on Father Christmas, who skipped over Sikh children and seemed “reserved for the English”.

Not that Babinder has allowed herself to miss out on very much in life since then. Her parents and her schooling have given her a powerful “can do” mentality, which has taken her through many barriers, including gender and race, to the pinnacle of her chosen career.

As a junior doctor, Babinder had to make personal visits to potential employers, because if she didn’t, with a foreign name like hers the applications just went straight in the bin. Almost 20 years ago, when she became only the second female consultant at RD&E, she heard that a recently retired consultant had commented that “not only has RD&E chosen a female consultant, but a foreign one at that!” With a wry smile she also recalls how, even as a consultant, patients would assume because she was foreign she must be a visiting trainee. Babinder is now passionate about equality and encourages everyone she can to “have the confidence to do things and go for it!”



Andreia Trindade, Ward Manager


Andreia Trindade

The Secret of Success

“You are on your own. No language. No friends. No family. It was cold and it rained every day for the first month I was here.”

What makes someone leave all they know and go the farthest from home they have ever been, to work at the RD&E?

For Portuguese Andreia Trindade the answer is simple. “I wanted to be a nurse. I had spent four years training back home but there were no jobs. I could have stayed home and worked in a shop, but nursing was what I really wanted.”

A passion for nursing is something that shines through, the moment you meet Andreia. “I want to look after as many people as I can. I want to do more, to help more people .. and I always want a challenge.”
It certainly was a challenge when Andreia first arrived. She would be the first to admit her English was pretty “basic”.

“You are never alone, though … there are always people you can ask for help and it’s great how nurses here are part of a team. You can always ask.”

And “ask” is what she did. Andreia was quick to ask whenever she did not understand anything and worked hard on her English, reading “girlie novels” and watching anything from The Big Bang Theory to Titanic.
Once she got used to English language, Andreia really blossomed. Her nursing degree from Portugal gave an excellent all-round foundation across all the specialties as well as skills in specialist nursing processes.

Less than three years after arriving here, Andreia landed a promotion and took up a job as a sister. “I was really happy as a staff nurse,” she says, “but my matron encouraged me to try for a sister’s job. I was so shocked when she suggested I could be a sister, I just burst into tears.”
“You are thinking about management now. People expect you to know everything, but I’m still learning. I’m never afraid to ask, though and there is always someone who will help.”

What is the secret of her success? “Look after your patients as you would your own family and never be afraid to ask,” says Andreia, with a broad smile.





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