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October 4, 2023

“It’s emotional to look back”: Bolton NHS celebrate staff at Long Service Awards 2023

  • Long serving staff celebrated for 25 and 40 years of dedication to Bolton NHS
  • More than 1,600 years of service between the awards attendees
  • Healthcare Assistant Barbara Lomax joined in 1975 and shares her memories

Staff at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust have been honoured for their commitment and dedication to serving Bolton communities at the 2023 Long Service Awards.

The Trust celebrated dozens of staff who have been working in the NHS for the past 25 and 40 years during a special ceremony that recognised their achievements.

In the room on the day, there was more than 1,600 years of service to Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

Barbara Lomax joined the NHS in Bolton in 1975 as a Cadet Nurse and felt proud when reflecting on her career:

It’s emotional to look back. When I started, we wore yellow uniforms and split our time between the hospital and Bolton College.

“I worked at the General, what used to be known as Townley’s, on the elderly wards. We used to have lots of fun and it was like a family. Many of the girls I started with were in their 30s and 40s and they are now in their 80s. All these years later we go out for tea once a month.

“Today Bolton is still such a friendly place and everyone is willing to help each other. Things are improving all the time, and even through the changes, patients are always our priority. We have to make their experience as safe and as comfortable as we can when they’re poorly.

Barbara currently works as a Healthcare Assistant on the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) where she now provides advice and support to today’s students.

I love what I do, even after 42 years of night shifts. I hope I can inspire the students who come through the doors, and I often share my stories with them. Starting in a busy, acute hospital ward can be overwhelming so it’s all about making them feel comfortable and confident.

It’s the first time the Trust has been able to host the Long Service Awards since the pandemic, and included staff who marked their 25 or 40 year anniversaries between April 2019 and March 2023.

A history of the NHS in Bolton was shown, including key milestones and pictures from the archives of former nursing staff and hospital buildings from over the years.

James Mawrey, Chief People Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said:

It has been a challenging few years yet everyone has continued to show such remarkable dedication to helping others.

“It’s a privilege to celebrate the service, commitment and skills of our staff. The fact so many have stayed here and devoted their lives to the patients we care for is one of the many things that makes Bolton so special.

This year the NHS is celebrating 75 years. You can read more about the remarkable impact of the National Health Service in Bolton on the Trust’s website.

Congratulations to all of our long-serving staff!

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