smoke free
News & Events

NHS@70: 'We are incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic service'

NHS@70: 'We are incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic service'
05 July 2018

I started working for the NHS on 1 September 1980 as a naïve 16-year-old. I felt myself very lucky to have been employed by the then East Yorkshire Health authority as a cadet nurse, one of only ten places available on the last course ever offered. 

The two years were spent learning how the NHS functions by working not only on wards but in the departments which support them. My favourites were path lab and pharmacy. The only downside was the colour of our uniform. Yellow has never been a colour that suits me. 

I trained at Broadgate Hospital and qualified in 1985. This was a very happy time in my career, like being part of a large family and a tight-knit community with every amenity the patients needed within the grounds. Everyone knew everyone, and patients and staff participated in a range of activities, pantomimes, dances etc. 

My first staff nurse post was on Ashdene ward, an EMI ward for ladies. The nursing process was just being introduced and although there was paperwork to complete I was able to spend almost all my time with the patients. 

In 1987 Broadgate was being closed and I moved to De La Pole Hospital, again a tight-knit community with every amenity on site. I have happy memories of my time there and recall many of the staff and patients I had the pleasure of working with and caring for. 

I particularly enjoyed working on Elloughton ward. The patients had all been in hospital for a considerable amount of time and as a team we tried to organise activities which were stimulating and enjoyable. I have particularly fond memories of holidays with the patients to Blackpool and Cropton Forest. 

As the hospital closed, the wards were moved to stand-alone units. I was fortunate to be one of the managers responsible for the development of Mill View at Castle Hill Hospital. It was exciting to see the new building being built and the fantastic facilities being provided for the patients. 

During my career I’ve had the opportunity to work on wards and units and in the community for just about every patient group we work with. I’m currently heading towards retirement and whilst I’m looking forward to this I can’t imagine not working full-time after so many years. 

I can honestly say I have been very lucky. I’ve worked with some fantastic people and some amazing, supportive managers during my career. I’ve been supported to do so much in the way of additional training. I find it hard to believe that I’ve got a degree and I’m an independent non-medical prescriber. The Trust has supported and encouraged me to fulfil my potential and improve the quality of the service I can provide. 

The NHS has been my only employer. I’m lucky I’ve not needed to be on the receiving end of the service very often, but we are incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic service. 

What’s changed? The amount of paperwork. At times it can feel overwhelming. 

It’s amazing that this service is celebrating its 70th birthday and that it continues to provide such fantastic care. 

My hope for the future is that we continue to have an NHS which is responsive and which changes to meet the needs of those we care for. 

But we need to remember not to stop doing the things we do well just for the sake of change.

 - by Sue King, Deputy Charge Nurse, Hawthorne Court, Beverley

Improving health and wellbeing
Logo: Mindful Employer Logo: NHS Choices NHS Smokefree pledge

© Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust | Valid XHTML