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“I am an adviser for the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and I have worked for the NHS for 36 years, starting as an auxiliary nurse back in 1982 at the City Hospital.

"Back then we wore a pink uniform and we were referred to as 'pinkies'. It was hard work with very few lifting aids available but we worked as a team and supported each other. If a ward was short staffed we would each take turns to help them out.

“The patients under our care were long term patients, waiting for nursing home placement or needing extended rehabilitation. At Christmas or on special occasions we would often take the patients shopping, to help give them that change of scenery long term patients often needed.

"Back then things were a lot different than they are now and it was not deemed inappropriate to take patients to the pub on an evening, just to get them away from the ward routine. Times have definitely changed!

“Because patients were expected to be with us for the long term we forged relationships with not only the patients but the family members also. I still receive Christmas cards from the daughter of a patient I looked after thirty years ago.

“With the closure of the City Hospital I then went on to work on ward 37. However, fancying a change from ward work I applied for a secondment to work with the bed managers and help support the newly formed Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) service. After six months I was offered a permanent contract with the PALS service and haven’t looked back.

“Right from the start I knew I had made the right decision. I love coming into work knowing every day is different, and facing the challenge of trying to piece together a person’s care pathway. Often patients and relatives are perplexed and unable to navigate their way around the many services we provide, or they are unhappy with aspects of their care or the care their loved ones are receiving. It is satisfying to be able to make a difference to these contacts by listening and trying to resolve issues.

“I am so proud of the NHS and all it has achieved and so happy to be part of it. I have made friends for life while working at the Trust and have been in the company of the most dedicated, selfless people I know.”

01 June 2018

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