The NHS’s first hospital, Teignmouth Hospital, celebrated the sisters in the Teignmouth Theatre and Outpatients Department on Friday. Their Senior Sister, Deborah Hardman, held a surprise cream tea Party and award ceremony for her team who between them have accumulated 363 years in the NHS. 



The party was a complete surprise to the team who’s seminar room was decorated with balloons, banners, and a tea-party table adorned with no-secco, homemade scones, sandwiches, cake, and a collage board of staff photos and their history at the NHS.


Deborah told the team, ‘I’ve bought you here for two reasons. The first reason is to celebrate us as a team, and the second is to pay homage to the seven of you that have been with the NHS for 25 years.


‘As you all know, the NHS has been celebrating its birthday, so it got me thinking how many of us twelve have worked for the NHS. I totted it up, and its 363!’


She continued, ‘We truly reflect what the NHS stands for, between us we have really worked with patients from cradle to death.


‘The NHS and our trust sent all the managers madges for dedicated services and thank you cards that line managers have written personal notes in. With all your skill set, I couldn’t fit everything on the cards, so I have picked an element for each of you that I really appreciate and that I think enhances us as a team.’


Members of the team have worked in A&E, district nursing, community nursing, mental health amongst many others. ‘We’ve had a member of staff sail around the world as a medic… We’ve had people that have piloted all the new twilight schemes that Torbay have run. We’ve got a member of staff that designed and implemented the first ever laparoscopic training teaching day - it’s still being used today and people from all over the world come to it.’


After handing out cards to laughter and praise, Deborah handed over to Sharon Boyne, Associate Director of Nursing and Professional Practice to hand out long-service awards.


Ann, who received an award for 56 years of service said ‘This is a fantastic hospital and a great team to work with, everybody supports each other its lovely. All the patients appreciate the service. Everybody has experience to help everybody else.’ 


The team joked that many of them have been in the NHS long enough for two of the accolades that mark 25 years of service, ‘We need a whole new award!’


Sharon quoted Maya Angelo in her speech, ‘and she said – which always resonates with me – “As a nurse (but I.’’ say health care professional because of our range of roles), we have the opportunity to heal the heart mind body and soul of our patients , their families, and ourselves, they may not remember your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”


‘I often think about I often think about how many people pass through and how we touch families. And they don’t forget...people will often mention nurses and health care professionals that have sat alongside them, supported them, and just been that person that they remember being present at their most difficult time. I think you should all be very proud of the service you’ve given; I know I certainly am. You’ve absolutely blossomed. Cherishing each other and cherishing the work that you do, so congratulations.’