With an NHS career spanning 50 years – specialist respiratory nurse Pam Patton has retired from her role with North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.
Colleagues at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon and Peterborough City Hospital have said farewell to Pam, who started her training aged 19 in Birmingham in 1973.
She moved to Cambridgeshire with her husband and three children in 1987.
On joining a nursing agency, she was offered work at Papworth, Addenbrooke’s and Hinchingbrooke.
After doing this for a year, she was offered a permanent post on the Chest Medical Unit at Hinchingbrooke. She enjoyed it so much that she stayed 14 years.
After five years as a junior sister, she then managed a new service for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients in Peterborough – which she did for nine years.
She said: “The role involved a lot of community input for patients in their own homes This was very different to all my hospital roles.
“Following this I became the respiratory outreach nurse which I did for around three years. After this and wanting a new challenge, I applied for, and got the job as an advanced nurse practitioner in ambulatory care at Peterborough City Hospital.”
Missing her respiratory roots, Pam, from St Neots, eventually found herself back working in her area of expertise, and a service that she has been instrumental in developing over the years.
As well as helping to grow the respiratory service in Hinchingbrooke, Pam has also delivered training and education to staff, including medical students, nurses, junior doctors, and healthcare assistants across the trust.
This really came into its own during the pandemic. Pam recalls: “I have never known a time like it. It was really a time when we all came together – we took delivery of new ventilation equipment that staff needed to be trained in the use of. It provided an opportunity to use my own expertise to upskill staff.”
Pam, who hasn’t had a day sickness absence in the past nine years, said: “My highlights are definitely getting the positive feedback from the staff I have mentored and having the feeling that I have really made a difference.”
Pam’s retirement comes as the NHS celebrates its own 75th milestone. She was presented with a long-service certificate and gifts by North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Officer Caroline Walker.
Caroline said: “Dedicating 50 years’ service to the NHS is an outstanding achievement and I would like to personally thank Pam for all she has done in her exceptional career, including the many local patients she has cared for during the past two decades at our local hospitals.”
However, Pam isn’t cutting ties with the trust completely, adding: “It was a very difficult decision to retire, but I think the time is right.
“I have always enjoyed the educational aspects of my role and am very pleased that from the 1 October I will working two days a week at Peterborough City and Hinchingbrooke hospitals on a six-month project to upskill my medical and nursing colleagues.
“I hope this will enable the continuation of excellent care from the door to discharge for this group of patients.”
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