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Nursing assistant’s delight as colleagues throw 80th birthday bash

One of the UK’s oldest nursing assistants celebrates her 80th birthday at work.
Betty Wright

One of the UKs oldest nursing assistants has celebrated her 80th birthday with a party at work.

Colleagues of Betty Wright surprised her with the celebration after she finished her early shift in ward A31 at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, central Scotland, on the eve of her big day.

Ms Wright has spent 54 years caring for others. She joined the health service as a domestic at the old Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary and then became a nursing auxiliary, working with the out-of-hours district nurses at Falkirk before joining the local staff bank.

Mark of affection

She was taken aback to walk into the surprise party in a staffroom festooned in balloons and where a birthday cake, flowers and gifts were waiting.

She said afterwards: I cant believe it. I thought we had come for a wee

One of the UK’s oldest nursing assistants has celebrated her 80th birthday with a party at work.

Colleagues of Betty Wright surprised her with the celebration after she finished her early shift in ward A31 at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, central Scotland, on the eve of her big day.



Ms Wright has spent 54 years caring for others. She joined the health service as a domestic at the old Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary and then became a nursing auxiliary, working with the out-of-hours district nurses at Falkirk before joining the local staff bank.

Mark of affection

She was taken aback to walk into the surprise party in a staffroom festooned in balloons and where a birthday cake, flowers and gifts were waiting.

She said afterwards: ‘I can’t believe it. I thought we had come for a wee bit of cake out of the fridge ahead of my birthday. I didn’t think I was so well known, I just come to do my work and then go away home.’

She said that hard work was key to staying active, adding: ‘I also don’t smoke and I’m not a drinker. Working is my life and I hope God gives me strength to carry on.’

Ms Wright, who enjoys going on cruises, line-dancing and bus trips, has no plans to retire.

Betty Wright has given 54 years to the NHS
Photo: PA News

Wise advice

The nursing assistant, believed to be the oldest in Scotland, has advice for those embarking on a career in healthcare.

She said: ‘Be kind to your patients. I like a bit of banter with patients and staff, it helps put people at ease and it’s much better than saying to someone you’re going to the theatre and getting so many stitches. Hang to that.’

NHS Forth Valley senior charge nurse Rosario Walshe described Ms Wright as a ‘hard-working, dedicated, caring and kind, a remarkable lady who thinks nothing of going home from an early shift and painting a fence or cutting the grass’.

NHS Forth Valley director of nursing Angela Wallace said: ‘Betty is a credit to the nursing profession and much loved by patients.’


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