Nurse Jenny Grimes has seen plenty of changes in her 50 years with the NHS...and not just the uniform.
The NHS has paid tribute to Jenny, a Contraception and Sexual Health (CaSH) Nurse from the Ribble Valley, upon reaching her milestone of half a century in the NHS.
Jenny started her nursing career in 1964 at Manchester Royal Infirmary. After achieving her nursing qualification, she worked in a variety of roles including surgical wards, coronary care and school nursing as well as working in service management.
Jenny has worked at Clitheroe Clinic in Clitheroe every Wednesday evening since 1979 as a nurse within the Contraception and Sexual Health Service.
Talking about her career, Jenny says: “I have seen many developments to our NHS over the years.
“My main recollection of my training and early career is that cleanliness was paramount on the wards.
I have had a wonderful career and I have made so many friends. I have seen many innovative and pioneering changes brought in to the NHS to better the healthcare of patients. I am extremely proud of my career to be part of such a wonderful organisationNurse Jenny Grimes
“This was overseen by a Matron who was inevitably a formidable figure who commanded respect from all the nurses.
“On her daily rounds she would pick on one nurse to introduce her to all the patients on the ward; there were no excuses for not knowing every patient.
“At the weekends, if nurses had any spare time we were expected to help clean the ward, helping with such things like cleaning the brass work and stainless steel and making sure the clinical room was immaculate. The idea that cleanliness and tidiness would lead to good patient care is something I have never forgotten.
“The old wards were of a ‘Nightingale’ style, where all beds were in rows. This meant that all the patients could be seen by the nurses.
“It also meant patients could see each other and friendships developed on the wards creating a sense of camaraderie.
“For example, a younger, fitter man may have helped an older man who wasn’t as fit, or a mobile patient would help the nurses taking the tea trolley round in the afternoon or evening. Patients not confined to their bed would sit around a table in the day room and have their meals together.
“During my early career there were some important changes, including open heart surgery performed on my surgical ward.
“There was also the introduction of the intensive care unit and coronary care unit. Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation was also introduced in the early years which was extremely exciting.”
Jenny undertook her family planning training in 1968 in Leeds. At that time the service was not part of the NHS and was for married women only. Fortunately, times have changed and the service is now much more accessible, comprehensive and well established.
Jenny added: “The Contraception and Sexual Health Service at Lancashire Care is very forward-thinking and always looking at ways to improve access to the services they provide, including having a dedicated service for young people.
“I have had a wonderful career and I have made so many friends. I have seen many innovative and pioneering changes brought in to the NHS to better the healthcare of patients. I am extremely proud of my career to be part of such a wonderful organisation.”
Sue Capstick, Contraception and Sexual Health Service Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Jenny brings a wealth of experience to the team and we are privileged to have her within our service.
“She is extremely dedicated to providing the very best care for our service users as well as taking time to help colleagues and her enthusiasm for the job shines through in everything she does.
“On behalf of everyone within the service, I would like to say well done to Jenny on reaching such an outstanding milestone, and thank you for all your hard work which is appreciated by your colleagues and the people you support.”
You can find out more about the Contraception and Sexual Health Service (CaSH) by visiting www.cashlancashirecare.nhs.uk
Jenny in uniform early in her career, when there was a strict uniform code and nurses wore aprons and caps
Jenny Grimes today after 50 years’ service