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Celebrating hospital colleagues who have devoted their lives to serving the NHS and their local communities

NGH Celebration of Service Awards

L-R Darryll Lutter (50+), Sue Faulkner, (45+) and Jane O'Callaghan (50+) years of service

Northampton and Kettering General hospitals have celebrated the long service of colleagues who have worked for the NHS for a combined total of 5,570 years. 

Events at Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital, celebrated colleagues marking 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years of continuous service in the NHS.  

Together the hospitals have 19 colleagues with more than 40 years of service, 64 with more than 30 years and 109 with more than 25 years. 

Richard Mitchell, Group Chief Executive for the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire and the University Hospitals of Leicester, said: “It was a tremendous privilege to mark the incredible service so many of our amazing colleagues have given to the NHS and their local communities. 

“Hospitals are enormously complex organisations and consist of a huge variety of other roles – all of which are essential in providing care and support to local people.  

“Spending time with colleagues who were reaching significant milestones really brought it home to me just how many of our colleagues devote the best part, or indeed all, of their working lives to supporting our patients, or their own colleagues, in so many different ways. 

“I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank them all for the contribution they each have made to the NHS, and to our hospitals, over the last five decades.”  

Colleagues received certificates to mark their continuous NHS long service at special afternoon tea events held for them at the Recreation Centre at KGH on April 15 and the Cripps Centre at NGH on April 25. Colleagues also received thank you vouchers and a variety of mementoes.

Some of the colleagues whose long service has been honoured 

Darryll Lutter has served Northampton General Hospital for 51 years as a pre-nursing student, healthcare assistant, ward manager and bed manager. 

She said: “I think I am very fortunate to have chosen a career path at aged 16 that I have stayed with and never regretted. I have been supporting patients throughout my career and still do that as bed manager talking with each patient and making sure that they on the right treatment path and in the right place in the hospital. 

“I think it is important to mark these sorts of career milestones for both morale and as a mark of appreciation by the organisation.” 

Christopher Weston has been a biomedical scientist at KGH since he left college 45 years ago and has worked at the hospital for all of that time. 

He said: “In biochemistry our job is to analyse some of the 1,500-2,000 blood samples our department takes in every day from across the hospital itself and the local community. 

“We are looking for abnormalities in the blood which help doctors to identify and begin treatment for, or monitor, conditions like diabetes, infections, or things like liver and kidney function issues. 

“In the pathology department we are some of the ‘backroom’ colleagues of the hospital but we do an enormously important job in delivering many thousands of test results. I think many people these days don’t stay in jobs for very long and I think it is important that the NHS does celebrate long service for the commitment it shows to both the job, and to the people we serve.” 

Jane O’Callaghan has 50 years of service at NGH after starting there as a nurse cadet in 1973. She set up and ran the hospital’s cardiovascular research department in the 1980s which later was merged with the research and innovation department where she is now a senior research nurse. 

She said: “I always wanted to be a nurse since I was a child and I have loved the role over the last 50 years. When we set up the cardiovascular research department it was an important time doing studies on the benefits of clot-busting drugs and really making a difference to patient care.

“Now I love being a research nurse because I get to spend more time with individual patients as we work to find new ways of improving future treatments. 

Julie Jones has done 46 years of continuous NHS service at six hospitals including the last seven years at Kettering General as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care. 

She supports patients and their families with progressive, life-limiting condition, and those who are dying, and worked at KGH throughout the Covid pandemic. 

She said: “I love being a nurse and if I could start my career all over again I would do the same thing. In particular, I feel it is a real privilege to care for patients nearing the end of their life and to provide comfort and support for them, and their families.  

“I think it is good that the NHS does celebrate long service and shows its appreciation for those individuals who have spent so many years of their life in the service of their local communities.” 

At Northampton General Hospital 90 colleagues have served for 2,650 years and at Kettering General Hospital 102 colleagues have served the NHS for 2,920 years.

Other colleagues at NGH and KGH with more than 45 years of service include Caryn Wakelin, Diagnostic Radiographer at KGH, and Sue Faulkner, Play Service Coordinator, at NGH. 

Posted on Monday 29th April 2024
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