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Over 800 years’ service

18 June 2018

Health Care

Thirty two members of the maternity and gynaecology team at Southend University Hospital have worked in the NHS for 25 years or more and celebrated with an afternoon tea.

One of those receiving thanks was Lesley Eldridge, 65 from Leigh-on-Sea, a Clinical Nurse Specialist on the Early Pregnancy Unit.

Lesley started her State Enrolled Nurse (SEN) training in 1985, qualifying in 1987 and initially worked at Rochford Hospital before transferring to Southend when the maternity and gynaecological services moved there.

She's had varied roles in the same area of care over the years including a SEN on the gynaecology ward, completed her conversion course to become a Registered General Nurse, worked as a staff nurse, a sister and now a Clinical Nurse Specialist. One thing has been a constant though, Lesley's passion.

Lesley said: "I enjoy working at Southend Hospital because over the years I have been able to help to build, provide and maintain a friendly, safe, welcoming, dedicated service to women.

NR 38b (2018)

"In my unit we see many women who have experienced pregnancy loss and my aim is to help and support these women and their partners through a very difficult and distressing period in their lives. In the unit we are committed to the wellbeing of women and providing the best service possible. I feel it is very important that we are able to build continuity of care with our patients.

"On days when the ward and unit are very busy it is the camaraderie and caring attitude of other staff that help us all get through the shift. I have been fortunate to make some lifelong friends during my many years of service in the hospital."

The afternoon included tea, a copious amount of cake and trips down memory lane. Each staff member was presented with a thank you card, individually hand written by the Interim Head of Midwifery & Gynaecology, Lesley Overy, and a small box of chocolates as a memento from the day.

Lesley Overy, said: "I sent a personal invitation to each member of staff, requesting their company at the event in recognition of their incredible commitment to the NHS.

"They truly are a dedicated team and newly qualified staff are always commenting how much they learn from those like Lesley and the rest of this group who have so much experience and knowledge to share. It's great to see it passed onto the next generation of nurses and midwives who one day might be stood here celebrating their 25 years' service."