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Trust celebrates three generations of nursing staff from one family

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Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust believes it might be unique in the UK because it has three generations of the same family among its nursing staff.

Jean Rowley, who will be 70 on 31 July, is part of the trust’s flexible workforce team working shifts as a healthcare assistant at its community hospitals in Tamworth and Lichfield.

Her daughter Amanda Rowley, 49, is senior sister on Ward 3 at Queen’s Hospital, the trust’s main acute site.

“I just love looking after people and being able to make them more comfortable”

Jean Rowley

Meanwhile, Amanda’s daughter Charlotte Rowley, 27, is a nursing assistant in the hospital’s enhanced care team, providing one-to-one care for patients with dementia.

Amanda said the family tradition of working in healthcare began with her grandma, Betty Hill, who completed many years’ service with the Red Cross and rose to the rank of commandant.

Ms Hill did not train formally as a nurse because of family commitments but worked at Rugeley Hospital and in an Australian hospital for a few years before returning to work in a local care home.

Amanda said: “I remember going round to her house when I was a little girl and looking at the Red Cross cards she had about first aid advice and being fascinated by the whole idea of being able to help people when they needed it.”

Her mother Jean retired five years ago as a full-time healthcare assistant, but subsequently joined the trust’s bank.

“Sometimes I just do one shift a week, sometimes it can be more, but I believe it’s good for the brain and body to keep working and keep active and I just love looking after people and being able to make them more comfortable,” she said.

She added that she had wanted to train as a nurse in the 1960s but had got married and had a family instead. “In those days you couldn’t do nurse training as a married woman because you had to live-in,” she said.

But in 1979 she started working at St Michael’s Hospital in Lichfield, moving on to the Victoria Hospital as an auxiliary, and finally the Samuel Johnson Community Hospital.

Charlotte admitted that her career choice was inspired partly by her mum, her grandma and great grandma.

“I looked up to them all when I was growing up, but I was also influenced by another great grandmother who suffered from memory problems,” she said. “I remember when I was a little girl how she struggled and it made me want to help other people with similar issues.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Ellen Watters

    Fantastic, well done ladies.

    I remember when I started my Enrolled nurse training way back in the 80. I was on placement in the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, my mum was an Enrolled nurse there in trauma theatre, my dad was on placement there whilst doing his RMN and RGN training, my brother was a porter in pharmacy and my sister was an auxillary on the pool..

    Without my family the place would have been on its knees..:)

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