Irene Finch worked 25 years at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals but like many colleagues three family members are keeping up the tradition of service to the NHS.
She started at Blackpool Victoria Hospital as a domestic in 1978 before becoming an auxiliary nurse in the 1980s.
Retiring in 2003 Irene, now aged 81, worked on the geriatric ward, Ward 23 and Ward 15 before finally moving to gastro and critical care. She also found time to be a union steward.
“I loved it here, it was the camaraderie, the company and also the parties and I still go the social events and reunions,” she said.
Irene still has a huge box full of photographs from her at the Vic and remembers all the names of colleagues from days gone by. In one picture, she is with with colleagues on a 1987 social trip to the Isle of Man from Fleetwood. The back of the photo reads “Fun Boat – All very seasick – Ward 15”.
Irene’s daughter-in-law Amanda is the Senior Clinical Trial Coordinator in Research and Development where her son, Michael, and daughter Katie are administrators.
Amanda has worked at the Vic for almost 20 years having started in Medical Records, moving to the Cancer Research Network Centre in Preston and returning as a senior clinical trials coordinator.
She said: “The time that most sticks in my mind is when we were doing the Covid vaccines in the early days and how it really brought everybody together as a team.”
Of her more recent memories, Amanda took part in the Blue Skies Hospital Fund Dragon Boat race which was “absolutely brilliant” despite the boat capsizing and the whole team tipping into Fairhaven Lake.
Son Michael also started in R&D medical records and also works part-time at Blackpool Football Club after completing his BSc studies.
Katie has been at the Vic for three years, starting as bank staff to help with the vaccine studies and then in R&D medical records before getting a permanent role. She is now studying for a qualification to complement additional finance roles in R&D.
On 5 July as we mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS, Katie will also be celebrating her birthday. Many happy returns to us all!