Britain’s oldest nurse retires at 81 after 65-year career
School nurse Norma Newcombe is ‘humbled and proud’ to have worked in the NHS, and colleagues say ‘her commitment to her profession over so many years is astonishing’
A grandmother, believed to be Britain’s oldest nurse employed in the NHS, has retired from duty after a 65-year career.
Eighty-one-year-old school nurse Norma Newcombe, from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL), celebrated her retirement with colleagues and children she has cared for at the Hindley Health Centre after her last shift.
‘I’ve certainly seen many changes’
Ms Newcombe said she was ‘humbled and proud’ to work as a nurse in the NHS.
She added: ‘I have worked in a job I love since 1958, including 50 years as a school nurse, and have certainly seen many changes.
‘I am both humbled and proud to serve such a wonderful institution founded by Aneurin Bevan, which has serviced our country and its people, enabling them to have a better and healthier quality of life.’
Nurse wrote a poem for her colleagues
Ms Newcombe has worked five days a week at the Hindley Health Centre since 1973.
She shared a poem written for her team, in which she reminisced on their time together and how proud she is of her colleagues. The poem ends: ‘From 1973 to 2023, my journey’s end, and I’ve loved it all, every last road and bend.’
‘Norma is loved for her heart of gold and her dedication’
Ms Newcombe has decided it is time for her to retire while she is still fit and active and able to enjoy herself, but she said she plans to keep in touch with her schools and do some volunteering with them.
Hindley Health Centre community public health specialist practitioner Sharon Swift said: ‘Norma holds a special place in the hearts of the children and families that she has helped over the years – many for three generations.
‘Norma is a very special part of our school nursing family and is loved by all of the team for her heart of gold and her dedication to the school age population of Wigan.’
Chief nurse at WWL Rabina Tindale said: ‘Norma’s commitment to her profession over so many years is astonishing, and we wish her all the best for what sounds like what will be a very active retirement. She will be missed.’
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