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Proud York NHS staff clock up years of service

Staff sitting together around a table at a Long Service event.

12 June 2024

Staff from York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who between them have clocked up hundreds of years of service, were invited to be honoured at a long service event in York.

The annual event took place on Wednesday 5 June at the Principal, York, where Chief Executive, Simon Morritt, paid tribute to the dedicated and caring staff from across the Trust, who he described as the ‘glue of the organisation’ - many of whom have spent much of their working lives in the National Health Service.

Speaking about the awards, Simon said: “The evening celebrates the service, commitment and skills of staff who’ve shown their loyalty to the Trust over many years.  The fact that so many stay with us through thick and thin and give their lives to the patients we care for, makes for a very special place to work.  Long service is a real cause for celebration. It speaks volumes about staff’s personal values, in that so many have chosen to stay for so long with the Trust, and to inspire newer colleagues to thrive.”

This year, over 120 members of staff from York and the surrounding areas have reached the milestone of 40 or 25 years dedicated NHS service, clocking over 1,670 years between them. 

Among those being celebrated was Diane Mitchell, a Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Nurse, who started working for the NHS in 1984.

“I can’t believe I have been nursing 40 years!  I remember my first day as thought it was yesterday. I have met some lovely people along the way.  I enjoy being able to support patients, families, and carers.  It gives me a feeling of achievement as diabetes is very frustrating and can be exhausting.  Since the eighties I have seen advancements in technology especially specific to diabetes which makes quality of life much better for patients.”

Also attending was Joanne Horrocks.  Joanne, who has worked for the Trust for 40 years, is a Specialist Clinical Physiologist in Neurophysiology and performs a variety of investigations on the nervous system to aid the diagnosis of neurological disorders. 

Reflecting on her career she explained: “I love the contact that I have with patients knowing I'm helping them get a prompt diagnosis so they can start treatment. I also love the team I work with; they are great.  There has been a massive change in the equipment and technology we now use to analyse and diagnose conditions, things are far more robust than in 1983.

“I have recently retired and returned back to a clinical role but was fortunate enough to work my way up to department manager and have had the privilege of working with some great colleagues, medics and senior managers, it’s the people that make the difference.”

Simon Morritt added: “NHS staff are notoriously modest.  One of the most common phrases I hear when I’m out and about is: ‘I’m just doing my job’.  They may have just been doing their job, many undoubtedly made a huge difference to countless patients and colleagues.  But it is never just a job.   I would like to say thank you to all our long serving staff.  And most importantly on behalf of patients and their families that either directly or indirectly they have helped in their time with us, I say a massive thank you.”

Another long service event will take place later this month at The Crown Hotel, Scarborough, for staff based on the east coast and surrounding areas.

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