Name: Anna Delahunty (COR)
1948: Training to become Queen’s Nurse
Became: Marie Curie nurse and also district nurse superintendent.
Anna Delahunty worked on both sides of the NHS in1940sBritain.
Six years prior to the birth of Bevan’s health service Anna trained as a nurse in eastLondon. Shortly afterwards she did midwifery part one inLondonand then part two inSurrey.
By 1948 she had embarked on Queen’s Nurse training and was six moths into her course when the NHS came along.
Anna recalled: ‘We just got on with it really. But I noticed the difference that, when I started doing my Queen’s training, I had a little cheque book, and I used to have a receipt book.
‘Each time I went to a patient I had to charge them. We used to get the money from them and give them a receipt and take the money to our superintendent.
‘But when the NHS came in, and to me this was wonderful, we did not have to ask people to pay for the service any more.’
Anna recalled her uniform at the time comprising of a pretty hat, an attractive blue dress and a navy coat with a distinctive Queen’s Nurse badge.
She said: ‘It was so very smart and I think that was important to people, I think they had a great respect for them and the uniform was part of the reason.
‘It was good to feel part of something like that.’
After a brief spell inWokingas a midwifery sister and then a district nurse in Cambridgeshire, Anna went to theUSin 1958, where she worked in a male clinic.
By the 1960s she returned toEnglandand worked until the age of 55 when she was forced to retire because of ill health.
Anna added: ‘I am pleased to have been part of the NHS. Being a nurse is something I always wanted to do and I never regretted one minute of it.’