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Three nurses retire after clocking up 129 years of service

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The nurses, who all work at the Cragside elderly care ward at Newcastle General Hospital, have celebrated their retirement with a tea party where colleagues, friends and patients from over the years who were invited to get together for a final thank you and send off.

Brenda Blay, Margaret Dougall, and Norma Waterhouse have had varied careers as nurses. With Norma and Brenda starting their careers as nurse cadets and Margaret as an auxiliary nurse, they have all ended up working in Cragside elderly care ward at Newcastle General Hospital.

In their time as nurses, Brenda, Margaret and Norma have witnessed many of the changes in the NHS.

Norma said: “We’ve seen so many developments completely transform the way that we treat patients. I remember the first kidney transplant all those years ago, it was a real newsworthy story, nowadays they’re two a penny.”

Chris Piercy, lead nurse for NHS Newcastle and North Tyneside Community Health, said: “On behalf of the organisation, I would like to thank them for all their continued hard work and dedication over the years. With over 120 years of experience between them, their wisdom and experience is going to be hard to replace. We wish them well.”

In their retirement, Margaret has plans to develop property, Norma, to get fit, and Brenda is looking forward to taking a break.

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