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Retired nurse with asbestos-related cancer seeks help of former colleagues


A former nurse with an incurable asbestos-related disease is calling for anyone who worked with her to come forward with information about the hospitals she worked at in the 1960s and 1970.

Kalliopi Copley, 66, of Wickersley in Rotherham, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2012.

She believes she may have come into contact with asbestos while working as a trainee nurse at Moorgate Hospital in Rotherham and Doncaster Gate Hospital, part of the Rotherham School of Nursing, from 1966 to 1969.

She also recalls coming into contact with asbestos at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, where she worked as a matron for 16 years.

Ms Copley, who was known as Popi and retired in 2001, is currently undergoing radiotherapy at Weston Park Cancer Hospital.

She has instructed lawyers to help her find out how asbestos was used at the hospitals, which were all undergoing major refurbishment at the time, and if more could have been done to protect her.

She said: “When I trained at the Moorgate and Doncaster Gate hospitals I had to walk past the refurbishment work every day but I was never warned that asbestos was being used or how dangerous it is.

“I was much more directly involved in the redevelopment of Sheffield’s Northern General and when I ‘acted up’ for the matron I had to check on the progress of the labourers working there.” 

She added: “I hope the other nurses, doctors or hospital staff I worked with will come forward with information about how asbestos might have been used at the hospitals so that I can finally get some answers about why I’m suffering this terrible illness.”

Martyn Hayward, from legal firm Irwin Mitchell, which is representing Ms Copley, added: “We hope as many of Kalliopi’s friends and colleagues who worked with her at the Moorgate, Doncaster Gate and Northern General hospitals will come forward with the crucial information she needs so that we can help her get the justice she deserves before it is too late.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at the Moorgate, Doncaster Gate and Northern General hospital should contact Mr Hayward via 0114 2744420 or


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Readers' comments (4)

  • Good luck with Erwin Mitchells they were a waste of time and so slow but hope you get some justice.

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  • tinkerbell

    Kalliopi really hope you find the answers you are searching for.

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  • Popi my heart goes out to you, my sister suffered from that cancer, she may have been exposed via second hand exposure. My father worked in the building industry and probably had the fibres on his clothing. I don't know if I have been exposed to it myself. Back in that time it was used extensively in the building industry, thank god for progress!

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  • Yes, best of luck, Popi. Hope your treatment is helping you. So sad when you have worked all your life and not getting the best out of your retiement. May The good Lord come into your life to help you overcome this awful occurance and that you find the cause.

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