Our longest serving member of staff, Kathy Gibbs retired yesterday, Tuesday 5 March, after clocking up an astonishing 53 years’ service for the trust.
Kathy’s parents were the first residents to live in Harlow new town and Kathy was 18 months old at the time, she went on to attend the local Mark Hall secondary school – and her younger brother had the distinction of being the first baby boy born in Harlow new town.
Kathy started to work in the NHS aged just 17 in 1965 as a cadet nurse based at PAH gaining experience in outpatients, radiology, pharmacy and several of the wards whilst attending teaching sessions at St.Maragret’s, before undergoing further training in 1966 to qualify as a registered nurse working at PAH.
Upon qualifying in 1969, Kathy stayed at PAH to work in the Emergency Department and over 32 years worked her way to become an emergency nurse practitioner, a role that was established by herself and colleagues.
Kathy went on to seek a new opportunity to be involved in the introduction of the practice development team to continuously support and encourage staff to develop their skills, practice and outcomes. She also helped with the development and introduction of recruiting our overseas nurses.
More recently, Kathy joined the training and education department four years ago as the deputy education and CPD liaison manager, advising and supporting our nursing teams and allied healthcare professionals to continue their professional development.
Reflecting on her long service Kathy said: “The hospital still feels like one big family, even after 53 years. I will be sad to leave; nursing is my passion and I have enjoyed every moment of my career at PAH.”
Kathy is looking forward to her retirement, as a keen gardener and being a busy grandmother, spending time with her family and four grandchildren.
Lindsay Hanmore, Associate director of nursing said:“When I took the brave step out of critical care, Kathy was there to share her learning, provide guidance and moral support. She always has a good story to tell, which makes learning come alive in an exciting and memorable way. I cannot imagine PAHT without Kathy; she will be sorely missed by everyone she has positively impacted during her service here.”
Martin Smith, Associate director of training, education and development said: “Kathy will be sadly missed by me, her colleagues in the training department and the many staff she has helped and worked with across the trust. She leaves a proud legacy of so many fine achievements during her 53 years of marvellous service. Kathy’s more recent work, including the implementation of the ever changing CPD requirements and supporting the professional development of so many staff across the trust, will be a fine testimony to her commitment to the hospital, our staff and patients.”