A midwife who has been working for 40 years – 25 of them in Banbury – is leaving the Horton General Hospital this week as she takes early retirement.
Elizabeth Fletcher, aged 57, has been working at the Horton since 1989 and tomorrow (Friday) she will leave the maternity ward for the last time.
Mrs Fletcher, of Bodicote, is known to most as Liz. She began her nursing career in Dublin in 1975, aged 17.
She said: “I’ve had an amazing career right from that very first day in 1975. I always wanted to do nursing – it’s just the variety of life.”
She spent a year doing general nursing training in Dublin before she went to Manchester in 1978 to do a midwifery course.
After that she worked as a midwife in Yorkshire for nine years and married her husband John. His work as a chartered surveyor saw them moving down south in 1989 and Mrs Fletcher started at the Horton.
She said: “I feel very strongly about the NHS and the Horton. The Horton has been amazing to me and the best thing has been the loyalty, the friendship and camaraderie; that everybody sticks together in difficult times. I just want to say a massive thank you from me to the Horton and Oxford University Hospitals Trust.”
Mrs Fletcher does not have many plans for life after work.
She said: “I’m just going to review each day as it comes. I’ve been working for 40 years so now I’m going to take some time out – I’m looking forward to getting a free weekend.”
She is also looking forward to spending time with her three grown-up children, Mark, Patrick and Helen, who have all moved back up north. “Helen has just finished university and is working as a staff nurse in Leeds so I kind of feel like I’m not leaving nursing,” she said.