Fond memories for retiring Vic nurse

Blackpool Victoria Hospital specialist cancer nurse Elizabeth Darling will retire from the NHS after 46 years of service

A nurse who earned just £24 a month when she first started the job is to retire.

Elizabeth Darling will end her career later this month after 46 years’ continuous service – and admitted that ‘things have changed a lot’.

Elizabeth Darling when she first qualified in 1974

“For example, we would never call sisters and staff nurses by their first name,” she said “It’s a lot busier now, and there is a lot more paperwork.”

Liz, 64, began her training at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in 1971 – when Sir Edward Heath was Prime Minister – living in the nurses’ quarters until she qualified in 1974.

She started her career in coronary care, which had just five beds, before leaving to work in Leeds as a sister for three yeas.

While there, she trialled the first hoists for moving patients, while her ward was also the first to scrap nurse’s hats.

Returning to Blackpool as a sister in the cardiothoracic unit, Liz transferred to the gastroenterology department as a senior sister in 1985 before settling in her current role. She has been a cancer specialist since 2001.

She said: “I’m going to miss the job, but it’s time for me now. I have had some fun over the years and I really love my job, although it can be harrowing at times, especially having to deliver bad news.

“I have a good rapport with both patients and staff, which I will miss, but it is time for somebody else to enjoy the job like I have.”

Deputy director of nursing and quality, Simone Anderton, paid tribute to Liz.

She said: “Since I have known Liz she has always impressed me for her extensive experience, knowledge and skills and how she applied this to ensure best care for her patients.

“Liz has been a valuable and well known and loved member of our nursing staff. She is going to be greatly missed not only by her colleagues but her patients too, all of whom she has made a great difference to.”

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