A group of former nurses have returned to St Helier Hospital to see how things have changed since they were young trainees there in 1963.
Sue Fisher and Irene Howe arranged the reunion at the Surrey hospital for 16 of their former nursing colleagues who travelled from as far afield as Canada, Cyprus and the Channel Islands.
Present day matron George Donley gave a guided walkabout of the wards they once worked on and their old digs in Ferguson House – once the nurses’ staff quarters – which is now mostly used by office staff.
Ms Fisher said: “It was so different in those days, more like the army. We spent nine weeks training in a classroom and did everything from cookery classes, so that we cook for patients, to health and hygiene.
“We were not allowed to leave the hospital grounds with our uniform on, which in those days included nurse’s hats and big heavy capes. I remember the matrons were nice but strict – what they said, absolutely went.”
Ms Howe added: “It was fascinating to be back and see the wards today – back in our day the wards were quite sparse with dayrooms off each ward and of course the uniforms are so different with no badges and belts. It brought back a lot of happy memories for us all.”
Director of nursing Pippa Hart said: “We were delighted to welcome back our former nursing staff and to play a part in their reunion.”
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