Over 150 loyal members of staff were honoured at the Walsall Healthcare Long Service Awards today.
Professor David Loughton CBE, Interim Chief Executive of the Trust, led the tributes for the 153 staff, who were all celebrating 20, 30, 40 or 50 years’ service with the NHS at a presentation via MS Teams.
There were 96 colleagues celebrating 20 years with the NHS, 46 recognised for 30 years, eight staff who have been with the organisation for 40 years and three honoured for 50 years’ service. That means the staff celebrating have a combined total of 3,770 years’ service with the NHS. All staff recognised received certificates.
“It gives me great pleasure to be here to honour you all,” said David. “We have 153 colleagues that have served 20, 30, 40 or 50 years with the NHS and that’s incredible. Your commitment to Walsall Healthcare Trust has been amazing; we have lots of hugely committed people.
“I would like to thank them on behalf of the population they serve to improve the healthcare of the people of Walsall.”
Margaret Unitt, Senior Sister in Gynaecology outpatients, and Graham Beards, Specialist Biomedical Scientist, are celebrating half a century with the NHS. They were honoured with video tributes, which were shown to staff at the presentation. David went to visit the pair this week to thank them for their extraordinary contribution.
“The thing that struck me was the great enthusiasm they still have for their jobs, which was inspiring,” said David.
“They are still hungry to make a difference and a positive impact on the people they serve.
“The significant contribution that these two colleagues have made to the NHS as an organisation, our patients and fellow team members over the years cannot be underestimated.
“Both exemplify our values and we thank them for everything they have done and the difference they have collectively made, not only to our patients, but to generations of staff who have benefitted from their knowledge and skills.”
Staff members with 40 years’ service were honoured with testimonial slides from colleagues read out by members of the executive team.
These included Community Midwife Myra Westwood, Genito-Urinary Consultant Dr Joseph Arumainayagam, COPD Clinical Nurse Specialist Karen Dawkins, Senior Community Nursery Nurse Deborah Civil, Theatre Practitioner Yolanda Parkes and Specialist Nurse, Acute Kidney Injury Anne Grace.
Guests were then treated to a trip down memory lane with slides recounting what happened 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.
Summing up the importance of loyalty and service, David added: “It’s really important that we recognise and honour long service in the NHS.
“It’s a unique organisation where people can commit all their working lives to. People might move between one or organisation or another but the vast majority stay with the NHS family.
“That loyalty means a great deal to our colleagues. People with long service are able to inspire others who haven’t got that experience with their wisdom and give people advice, which is very important.”