Ralph Roberts, Scunthorpe General Hospital’s Matron for Surgery and Critical Care, has retired after a 42 year career with the NHS.
Mr Roberts says he has seen many changes over the years. “The NHS is ever changing with staff always seeming to have new challenges or targets to meet, as well as all of the advances we see in patient care.
“Back in my day patients waited a year or more for their surgery and people accepted that, whereas now it is 18 weeks from GP referral to treatment.
“Nursing care has also changed. I remember when we had cataract patients in they would be in for seven days, five of which they were in bed in a dark room with sand bags at either side of their head so they couldn’t move. We used to be fumbling around in the dark trying to put their eye drops in! Now they go home within four hours of surgery.
“Patients with a fractured femur were in hospital for three months on traction and now they are in and out within a week to 10 days. Day case surgery was unheard of back then and now so much is done this way.”
Mr Robert’s wife Anne is also retiring from nursing after having worked in the NHS for the last 35 years.