Two experienced nurses from Shrewsbury have washed their scrubs for the last time after dedicating a combined 51 years caring for patients with incurable illness.
Caring duo Christine Johnson, 61, and Jan Smith, 56, have both retired from their posts.
Christine has been with us from the start, joining in 1989 when our first ward opened in Bicton, Shrewsbury, and she has devoted the next 31 years caring for our families. Jan started in 2000 and during her 20-year stint helped set up our complementary therapy service.
Christine, who’s last day was Friday, said looking back at her time with us: “I was interviewed for a nurse’s position at the hospice before the building at Bicton was even complete. I worked on the ward first and moved to day services about four years later.
“Initially the hospice cared mainly for cancer patients, however, over time that has changed; we’re now supporting patients with many life-limiting conditions – and their families – in the community and day services are part of this support network.”
She added: “It’s been a privilege to have worked at the hospice; it’s been a been a huge part of my working life. It has enabled me to contribute to the ongoing care of patients and families through their journey. During this time, I have had the support of amazing colleagues and volunteers.”
Jan, who retired on September 4, said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at the hospice, offering bedside and end-of-life care and helping patients live well.
“I’ve worked in many areas, from being a ward nurse, to helping set up and working in complementary services, going on bank for a while and then returning to join day services; now it feels right to do something for me.
“I have a passion to do creative things and since retiring I’ve finished three nature paintings inspired by the pleasant things about lockdown and hope to do many more and write a self-help book.”
Kate Maw, our lead nurse for day services where the nurses worked, said: “Chris and Jan have been a tremendous asset and made a huge contribution to day services at Apley and Bicton; they’ve been caring and compassionate with patients and their families and will be greatly missed.
“We marked their contribution with a slice of cake; It’s such a shame we couldn’t give them the retirement party they both deserved. We wish them both a long and happy retirement.”
The day services department is part of our living well concept of care which provides additional, enhanced care for patients who need support but do not need to stay in wards.