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Mid Staffs nurse retires after 50 years' service


A nurse specialist at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust is to retire after working at the trust for almost 50 years.

Sue Coghlan started her pre-nurse training in 1961 at the age of 15, at the Staffordshire General Infirmary and she went on to gain her State Registered Nursing qualification in 1968 and has worked for the NHS in Stafford ever since.

The mother-of-two worked at the SGI until being transferred to the new Stafford General Hospital when it opened in 1983.

The smoking cessation snurspecialist started weekly stop smoking clinics at Stafford and Cannock Chase Hospitals in 1998 while also working in oncology clinics.

Sue, aged 67, said: “My father died from lung cancer when I was very young. My mother was a nurse and ever since I can remember it was all I wanted to be. I completed my training under the watchful eye of Matron De Prato, who was a very strict lady and an excellent matron. I have seen many changes over the years and have enjoyed my career immensely.”

Stafford-born Sue said her last day, on Thursday March 28, would be an emotional one: “This is the end of my nursing career, something I have done almost all of my life and I will miss it greatly. I will especially miss my fantastic friends, colleagues, consultants and patients with whom I have worked for so many years.”

Colin Ovington, director of nursing and midwifery at the Trust, said: “Nearly 50 years is an incredible amount of time to commit to a career in nursing and we salute Sue’s devotion to her patients.

“She will be missed by many and we wish her well in her retirement.”

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Readers' comments (5)

  • The woman deserve a medal, what a terrible shame that she has retired with all the media attention on the hospital she so obviously loved. It's encouraging to see something positive written about this trust, it must be so demoralising for the good staff who work there.

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  • I wish Ms Coghlan a long, happy and well deserved climate. It is sad end a career under such a shadow even though not every department or nurse or other staff member was involved.

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  • I hope this lady has a long and happy retirement. I'm leaving soon after 37 years and thought I'd done well. I would have liked to have stayed for at least 40 but it's become too stressful now. To make it to 50 years is fantastic and the end of a wonderful era.

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  • Joy Millar

    I am a New Zealand Registered Nurse and have also completed 50 years of service in Nursing (7 July 1963 to 7 July 2013). I haven't retired nor do I intend to do so in the near future.

    I spend ½ of my life in New Zealand, working PM or Night duty at a very busy private Accident & Emergency Clinic. I also receive National Superannuation from the NZ Government. This funds my passion for providing top Nursing Care to people outside NZ borders.

    The rest of my time I spend overseas (Outback Australia, Niue Island, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Cambodia, Viet Nam & Fiji). I provide free Primary Health Care &/or Emergency Care following Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Cyclones & other National Disasters, for peoples in these countries. Most have little or no access to any care from a health care professional.

    I am poor, money wise, but extremely rich in having wonderful national friends from all these low resource countries.

    September 2012 until January 2013 I studied at London University, School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to gain my Diploma in Tropical Nursing.

    Did I mention retiring? I don't think so.

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  • Joy Millar

    See: or e-mail me at:

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