Senior staff nurse Kathy Smith, who worked on Mirrlees ward at Conquest Hospital has retired after 51 years of NHS service. Kathy’s nursing career began as a student nurse at Farnborough Hospital in Kent on 18th September 1965.
Staff nurse Lynsey Sadler said: “Kathy is a well-loved and hugely respected member of the Mirrlees nursing team and will be sorely missed. She has always been willing to share her abundance of knowledge and experience. Kathy has always maintained exacting standards and helped us to do the same. She is a dedicated nurse who displays a high level of professionalism. We will miss her!”
She added: “In her time as a nurse Kathy has helped countless patients but she would say she is particularly proud of the fact that she was mentor to Maria Garcia, now matron of Mirrlees ward, when she first arrived from the Philippines 13 years ago.”
Matron Maria Garcia said: “I would not be the nurse I am today if it had not been for Kathy’s support and guidance.”
After qualifying Kathy continued to work at Farnborough until 1970 when she married and moved to Hastings. She worked at the Royal East Sussex Hospital for five years before getting a post in Women’s Health at the Buchanan Hospital. This was a busy time for Kathy, alongside her work she raised four children and was Mayoress of Hastings for a period of time. She moved up to Conquest Hospital when phase 2 opened in 1997 where gynaecology was incorporated into Gardner Ward before it moved to Mirrlees as a dedicated ward.