A stunning collective of almost three centuries of dedicated NHS service was in the room as Oswestry’s specialist orthopaedic hospital celebrated its longest serving staff members at its annual Long Service Awards.
Each recipient of one of the awards has dedicated 30 years or more of service – either at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), or elsewhere in the NHS.
The year was 1991. Bryan Adams’ ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’ was the best-selling single of the year. While, ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was also the highest-grossing film and popstar, Ed Sheeran was born. But it was also around the same time our staff were entering their careers in the NHS.
To thank staff for their commitment, they were treated to a special lunch at the Lion Quays, where Trust Chairman Frank Collins and Chief Executive Mark Brandreth also presented them with certificates and vouchers.
Mark said: “The nine members of staff, who could join us for our Long Service Awards, had between them racked up an impressive 295 years of NHS service between them. How amazing is that?
“These wonderful people have dedicated at least 30 years to the NHS and what’s really special is some of these staff members have spent their entire career at RJAH.
“On behalf of the Executive Team here but also on behalf of the NHS, I would like to thank each and every one of these members of staff for their commitment to caring for our patients.”
Hazel Hughes, Gait Laboratory Clinical Technologist, who works within the Orthotic Research & Locomotor Assessment Unit (ORLAU) at the Oswestry-based hospital, said: “I don’t know where the years have gone! I have worked in the same role throughout my 30 years at RJAH – and I don’t regret a moment of it.
“It’s a total privilege to not only work with such wonderful colleagues and inspirational patients but to know that what we do within ORLAU makes such a difference, that’s incredibly rewarding.
“I have known patients as children, who are now adults in their thirties. It’s been a complete joy.
“Just the other week in the department, we realised that altogether our collective service in the team is more than 430 years. I think that’s true testament to how much we all love what we do.”
Pip Tyler, Recovery Practitioner, who works within the Theatres Team, said: “I’ve also spent my entire NHS career here at RJAH, with the exception of some agency shifts at other hospitals, and honestly, I feel immensely proud and lucky to have worked at our wonderful hospital.
“I’ve always enjoyed what I do and feel thankful to work with colleagues, who are actually more like friends. These friends have gone onto have babies, and those babies eventually become adults, who end up working here too!”
Kim Hallam, Theatres Support Worker, added: “It’s been a real privilege to have worked at RJAH for all these years. There’s always been a really special feel to the place, one that’s very family orientated – for example, my daughter now works here too – and that’s the case for many, who work here.”
The full of list of staff celebrating over 30 years’ service this year are Theresa Garratt; Research Nurse; Sheree Gilbert, Staff Nurse; Christine Golden, Clinical Support Worker; Niall Graham, Arthroplasty Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon; Kim Hallam; Ellen Harrison, Patient Pathway Co-ordinator; Hazel Hughes; Kim Jones, Information Governance Lead; Helen Lewis, Radiographer Specialist; Nicky McClelland, Assistant Head of Financial Accounting; Ann Parrish, Staff Nurse; Ian Roberts, Head of Business Intelligence and Workforce Information; and Pip Tyler.