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Long-serving nurse retires at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn

PUBLISHED: 08:46 30 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:05 30 October 2018

Claire Roberts, centre, is wished well by chief nurse Emma Hardwick (left) and deputy chief nurse Val Newton  Picture: QEH

Claire Roberts, centre, is wished well by chief nurse Emma Hardwick (left) and deputy chief nurse Val Newton Picture: QEH

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A Nurse who has given more than 40 years of service to the NHS is hanging up her uniform to enjoy a well-earned retirement.

Claire Roberts said a fond farewell to colleagues at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn..

During her time at the QEH, Mrs Roberts had redesigned the Intensive Care Unit, created a liaison service and helped give young people with learning difficulties work experience opportunities.

Speaking at her leaving presentation Mrs Roberts said: “It has been a huge privilege to be a nurse and spend my career in the NHS.

“I have learned an enormous amount of working with people here and from looking after patients. I can’t say how much it has meant to work here with you all.”

Mrs Roberts first began to care for patients while she worked as a nursing auxiliary in 1974 while also studying for her biochemistry degree at Cardiff University.

But her time as a nursing auxiliary inspired Mrs Roberts to change careers from being in a lab to working with people and began her nursing training in Cardiff in 1978.

Two years later Mrs Roberts headed out onto the wards as a staff nurse before quickly taking on additional nursing qualifications in coronary and intensive Care.

Mrs Roberts moved to King’s Lynn in 1983 where she joined the intensive care unit as a staff nurse.

After a brief stint running the Sue Ryder home in Snettisham, she returned to intensive care as the sister in charge in 1986.

She then went onto to help refit and develop the unit along with helping to create a ground breaking regional intensive care course.

Mrs Roberts, who also has three children and studied for numerous qualifications, moved away to Epsom in the 1990s but once more returned to the QEH in 2001 as head of nursing for medicine and later became the associate director of patient experience.

She was responsible for the creation of the Liaison Service and worked closely with the College of West Anglia to give young people with learning difficulties the opportunity to achieve qualifications and do work experience to help them gain employment.

Mrs Roberts said: “It has been my privilege to work here at the QEH. Every time I returned, it felt like I was coming home.”

She is now looking forward to spending more time with her family during her retirement.

Chief nurse Emma Hardwick said: “The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and countless nurses owe so much to Claire for her wisdom, passion and support. She has been a mentor to numerous student nurses over the years and I know that to many she is rightly an inspiration.

“Patients have always been at the heart of Claire’s long and distinguished career. We are going to miss her terribly at the QEH, where she has made such a difference and will leave a legacy, but we wish her long and happy retirement.”

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