Nurse retires after 27 years at Norwich surgery

Sister Anthea Haddon retires after 27 years with the Yare Valley Medical Practice.Photo by Simon Fin

Sister Anthea Haddon retires after 27 years with the Yare Valley Medical Practice.Photo by Simon Finlay - Credit: Simon Finlay

When Anthea Haddon started her new job as practice nurse on June 1 1986, she fell off her bike on the way to work and had to be patched up by one of the doctors.

Twenty-seven years later, the valued member of staff at the Yare Valley Medical Practice in Norwich said an emotional farewell to colleagues and patients yesterday on her last day before retirement.

The 67-year-old, who lives in Cringleford, said she was looking forward to spending more time with her family as she starts her retirement today.

Mrs Haddon said it was difficult to say goodbye after 27 years working for the same practice. Staff held a surprise party for the practice nurse yesterday during her last day at the surgery in Thorpe Road.

Mrs Haddon said her job had changed remarkably since she first became a nurse.

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'When I first came here, a practice nurse was the doctor's hand maiden and we could not take bloods or do chronic disease management. We can now become specialists in asthma, specialists in COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), specialists in CHD (coronary heart disease), and we can look after people with chronic diseases and we rarely see a doctor now,' she said.

Mrs Haddon said she had specialised in diabetes for the last two years and was going to miss her patients.

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'I have seen a lot of patients and their ups and downs, but my working life would be unfulfilled without them. As a practice nurse I have given immunisations to babies that have grown up and had their own children and they come back to the surgery,' she said.

The practice has grown from three doctors in 1986 to five doctors and has outgrown its space in Norwich.

Mrs Haddon, who has two children and four grandchildren, said her one regret was that she would not see the practice moving to a new state-of-the-art surgery in Wellesley Avenue. Work is due to start on the new building at the former Wellesley First School site next month.

Lyn Boston, practice manager of the Yare Valley Medical Practice, said they would be staging another farewell do for their retiring practice nurse in November.

'She is going to be greatly missed. Anthea is our little star and if a patient needed to see her, she would fit them in. She has provided excellent diabetes care,' she said.

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