On Saturday 6 October, a group of women who began their nursing careers 40 years ago met for a reunion at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. They all began their training at Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital in 1978.
"Our group of student nurses formed part of the Guard of Honour when Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, officially opened the hospital," says Libby Searle, one of the group. "It was an exceptionally hot day in our military uniforms and once the task was done we were back into our nursing uniforms to return to the wards for duty.
"Exploring QEH was magical as it transported us back in time to our years spent walking the ramps, working on the wards, eating in the “all ranks mess” (now the restaurant) and in the coffee shop opposite," says Libby. "It also took us back to our time studying and practising techniques in the School of Nursing (now the Education Centre), socialising in the NAAFI behind the accommodation block (now unused) and of course living in accommodation just a 5 to10 minute walk to and from the wards.
"We worked, slept, ate, socialised and lived the QE…….it was our whole life and we loved it. The uniforms may have changed at the hospital but the core values of caring for others that we cherished were evident in all those we met."