From the Philippines to Imperial: Building a life at Charing Cross Hospital

Ralph Deocampo, site nurse practitioner at Charing Cross Hospital, came to the UK from the Philippines 21 years ago, aged just 28. It was the first time he had ever left his home country. The Trust holds some very special memories for Ralph. It was here he met his wife Brenda. It was also where, in 2020, he recovered from Covid-19 after being put into a medically induced coma for 10 days. He tells us more about his journey.


I still remember the day I joined the Trust in 2001. Coming from a different educational background was a challenge.


Aged 28, I was timid and spoke limited English. It was the first time I had left my home country and navigating the many obstacles that came along with my desire to seek a more promising pasture was challenging.


Fast forward to the present, I am grateful for the opportunity and the many blessings of a wonderful career at Imperial as a site nurse practitioner for 20 years. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but I have thoroughly enjoyed all the learnings and remarkable lessons through years of working at three different sites and meeting so many colleagues in the organisation.


I have witnessed the amalgamation of Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals from a smaller workplace into a much larger institution — Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust — as well as the Trust becoming the academic health science centre that it is today.


The changes I have seen over the years have been immensefrom using hard copies of patients' medical notes to digital/electronic recording; from fundamentals to adopting more evidence-based practice; traditional surgeries to robotic interventions; moving to a more collaborative, structured, multidisciplinary delivery of careand the many other changes we have embraced


There are also the changes I have seen in staff welfare, mental health as well as equality, diversity and inclusivity. We are improving our understanding of cultural differences; honouring individuals’ strengths and addressing limitations to promote better practice, and promoting diverse representation at different levels of the hierarchy.


In celebration of East and South East Asian heritage month, I want to honour my colleagues and friends from East and South East Asia for the contribution they have made to the Trust as well as to the NHS as a whole. 


Leaving the Philippines was probably one of the bravest decisions I’ve made as I ventured to a country foreign to me. 


Today, I realise how ‘liberating’ it wasfrom travelling on my own to creating a family, integrating into a diverse community and being part of the Trust has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. 


The Trust is such a memorable place for me personally. I met my wife while working at Charing Cross Hospital and we’ve been married for almost twenty years. We are blessed with three children: one is at university studying pharmacy, another is studying A levels and hopes to become a doctor, and the youngest is still at secondary school.


At the peak of the pandemic in 2020, I was very ill with Covid-19 and Charing Cross Hospital brought me back to life after 10 days of being in a medically-induced coma.


What a tremendous blessing to have come to an organisation that has truly become a part of my life. For that I am, and will forever be, grateful.


Find out more about opportunities to build your career at Imperial College Healthcare.