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Monday 23 September 2019
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40 years service

Chief exec thanks dedicated staff who have given hearts and souls to 40 years NHS service

THE chief executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA), Raj Jain, has thanked 60 staff for hitting the 40 years’ service mark, working at hospitals in Salford, Oldham, Bury, Rochdale, North Manchester and community services.

Certificates were presented to the long serving staff members at a thank you ceremony held in the Education Centre auditorium at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury recently.

The NCA brings together the Salford Royal and Pennine Acute hospital trusts, with a workforce of over 17,000 staff.

The event was arranged especially to say thank you to all the NCA staff who have worked for 40 years and over in numerous different professions, from medicine to nursing, midwifery, radiology, catering, laundry, administration, estates and others.

In a light-hearted speech, CEO Raj Jain thanked the staff and reminisced how the NHS has changed over the years, from the days of 20p prescription charges, to staff working on electronic typewriters, before the advent of the digital revolution. He also quoted an excerpt from the NHS Constitution.

Senior directors from each of the NCA’s Care Organisations in Salford, Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester handed out certificates to staff from their own hospitals and community services and thanked them for their hard work.

The Care Organisation director representatives handing out certificates and thanking staff included James Sumner, Chief Officer, Salford Care Organisation; David Jago, Interim Director of Finance, Oldham Care Organisation; Dr Shona McCallum, Medical Director, Bury & Rochdale Care Organisation; Prof Matt Makin, Medical Director, North Manchester Care Organisation.

After the presentations staff were treated to a lavish hot buffet and a selection of sandwiches and cold beverages, tea, coffee and a choice of cakes, and staff mingled together and swapped stories of days gone by.

Raj Jain, Chief Executive Officer at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group said:

“I would like to say a big thank you to all our staff who have completed 40 years’ service or longer, on behalf of the executives at the Northern Care Alliance. It was my privilege to stand before them, present them with their certificates, and thank them for serving the populations they have served, so diligently, for so many years. I would also like to thank them personally for all for their tremendous hard work over the years.”

Reminiscing on their long service

Susan Parkinson – medical secretary, dermatology – Salford Care Organisation

Susan has seen the growth of two things during her career in the NHS – the growth of technology and the number of female consultants working within dermatology!

Starting her career as a medical secretary in dermatology, Susan said the department had eight male consultants and was about to appoint its first female consultant when she started at the Quay Street site.

Susan then moved to the old Salford Royal Hospital and then Hope Hospital (which is now Salford Royal).

She said: “Another major change in my career was the move from manual typewriters to eventually computers.  I started off working a manual typewriter with carbon paper and then progressed to an electric typewriter.  It was wonderful when we got PCs to work on as they changed everything.

“I love the people I work with.  We are a happy team and all pull together.  Working in the NHS has given me a sense of pride and achievement and you are never short of work to do!”

Judith Leigh – orthoptic assistant – Oldham Care Organisation

Judith remembers the birth of Louise Brown, the first IVF baby, as she worked at Oldham and District General Hospital as an auxiliary in maternity when Louise was born.

Starting her career on mat 2 in 1978, Judith also worked in the ante-natal clinic, community nursing and the district nursing evening service.  For the last 20 years she has worked in orthoptics and now works three days a week based in the Integrated Care Centre in Oldham, two of these days she runs the children’s orthoptic/ophthalmic clinic and on the other day she works with an ophthalmic consultant.

Judith said: “I have really enjoyed working in the NHS.  I have always liked caring for people and we have had great camaraderie with the teams I have worked in over the years.  I have seen many changes, particularly with the growth of The Royal Oldham Hospital as a building.  When we had the new phase I building which makes up the front of the hospital completed in the early 1990s, I won a competition to name some of the streets within the hospital grounds.  Royal Parade, The Ginnel and Steptoe Drive were all my suggestions!”

Arthur Genesis – Grounds and gardens supervisor – Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation

The ability to climb a tree won Arthur his job in the NHS in 1979!

Responding to a job advert in the local newspaper, he was one of six applicants who turned up for an interview to become a gardener at Birch Hill Hospital in Rochdale.

He said: “The foreman asked if I could climb a tree.  I replied yes, so then he asked if I could climb a tree in a boiler suit.  I said yes again so then I had to prove that I could actually do it!”

Successfully climbing the tree, Arthur was given the job on a six months trial.  Forty years later he is still here as the grounds and gardens supervisor covering Fairfield General Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary.

Arthur continued: “I enjoy what I do and I would highly recommend working here.  I have seen many changes over my career and the site that I started off working on is now a housing estate.  I oversee the grounds maintenance at Fairfield and Rochdale and they are fantastic sites with great teams maintaining them.  Even though I manage the team I do still occasionally put my working boots on and help with the grass cutting, although I draw the line at climbing trees now!”

Renee Deadman – laundry assistant – North Manchester Care Organisation

Renee started work in the laundry department at North Manchester General Hospital and thought that she would only be there for a couple of months.  Forty years later, she is now working in the linen room there!

She said: “I have met a lot of people, both staff and patients over the years and I have really enjoyed that.  I feel that teams I have worked with over the years have kept the hospital running, providing them with fresh linen day in, day out, and I am proud of that.

“My colleagues have been supportive over the years and they have helped me to celebrate my 60th birthday last year and now my 40 years’ service.”

Staff in attendance were photographed and filmed, so please watch out for pics and videos on the NCA Twitter and YouTube channels.