Trust bids farewell to nurse after 44 years of service

Joy Swarbrick on her retirement day

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s has bid farewell to one of its valued nurses after 44 years of service.

Joy Swarbrick 62, from St Annes works as a practice educator and children’s community outreach sister. She is retiring after starting her career as a student nurse at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in 1976.

Joy said: “As a little girl, I always said I wanted to be a nurse. As a student, I worked on Children’s Ward A at the Vic and found that I love working with children, so I became a children’s nurse.”

Back then, parents were only allowed to visit their children in the afternoons and patients spent more time in hospital for what would now be considered as minor day case treatments.

Joy said: “I remember all the mothers queuing up at visiting times. Of course, the visiting changed as did the ability to stay with children overnight which is far better for the young patients.”

Joy moved to her role in paediatric outreach 22 years ago and was able to work closely with children and their families throughout their lives. She even featured in a CBBC TV programme that featured a girl who has cystic fibrosis.

In her retirement, Joy is looking forward to spending more time on her photography hobby and supporting her daughter , Emma, who has just adopted two children.

Diane Booth, Head of Children’s Community Services, said: “Joy started work on the Children’s Ward at Victoria Hospital in 1981.

“I recall some of my very first shifts as a newly qualified staff nurse with her some 30 years ago – can you believe that!

Joy as a young nurse in the 1970s

“Joy was always very professional, supportive and most certainly patient focussed and these qualities have continued with her spanning her nursing career over the past 39 years. It’s not quite the same “send-off” that everyone had planned for Joy but I wish her all the best in her retirement and her future – enjoy!”

Dr Ned Rowlands Consultant Paediatrician with a special interest in Cystic Fibrosis, said: “I have worked with Joy since re-joining the Trust in 1995, in particular with children who have Cystic Fibrosis.

“Joy’s enthusiasm and professionalism have been a massive contribution to the paediatric CF service. It has been a pleasure to work alongside her for the last 25 years – a silver anniversary and a much deserved retirement! Enjoy yourself and relax. We will miss you very much.”

Joy added: “It’s feels like the right time to go. I never expected to be any more than a staff nurse so I am happy my career has turned out as it did.

“I will miss the people I work with and the children that I have supported through their lives. I have really enjoyed working here and never felt the need to work anywhere else. It is where I belonged.”

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