Jackie's still nursing, 60 years on

Thurrock Gazette: Jackie Reid Jackie Reid

THE Queen may have celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, but one Thurrock woman is marking her own 60 years in the job.

Jackie Reid, who lives in Grays, has been a nurse for the NHS since April 14, 1953.

The untiring pensioner officially retired aged 65, but within two weeks was back as an agency nurse, unable to keep away.

Jackie, 78, said: “I love my job. You have to be passionate, but it’s been wonderful. “One of my daughters worries about me, but I’m fine. I’m perfectly healthy and don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t work.”

She was a pioneer in setting up the first liaison nurse service between community and hospital nurses and went on to be the first in the country to run a specialist diabetes nurse service in 1973. She has remained in this field for 40 years.

Mother-of-two Jackie started her training at Orsett Hospital in 1953 when she was 18.

She said: “I even met my husband through my work. Bill was a patient at Tilbury Hospital to have his appendix out. It’s quite funny really.”

The couple married and moved to Scotland, where Jackie worked at Dunfermline & West Fife Hospital. She started to move into district nursing, before they returned south.

She did her district nurse training for nine months at the prestigious Queens Nursing Institute and worked in the community in Thurrock for ten years, while also finding time to have and bring up her two daughters.

Her calling was working with people with diabetes. Not long after her move to the field, her youngest daughter Michelle developed the condition aged 12. She said: “It hit me hard, but she’s good at dealing with it.

“Diabetics used to have a raw deal – they used to call me up as their district nurse to help teach them how to use insulin.

“I set up the first diabetes nurse service in Britain in 1973. People needed to be educated in diabetes. It’s a huge problem now.

“Now there are hundreds of nurse specialists and special courses. I suppose it was pioneering really.”

She has continued to work in Basildon and Orsett hospitals and in the community and since retiring is more regularly at Southend Hospital and in community clinics.

In six decades she has seen much change, but remembers the hard toll of being on call to patients 24 hours a day.

Jackie, who lost her husband three years ago, added: “We did such long hours, you had a list of patients you saw whenever they needed you, there was no shift change over.

“I used to live in Chadwell and cycled down to Tilbury, up the hills, on the train to Stanford and Corringham and then cycle back to Orsett and home.

“Then you could use your own initiative and it was more hands on. Now there are many more managers and you only have a certain amount of time for each patient. But that’s life, it changes.”

Jacqueline Totterdell, chief executive at Southend Hospital, pictured inset left, said: “Jackie is an outstanding nurse and still has the energy and drive that would put many half her age to shame.

“There are many thousands of patients with diabetes who have cause to be very grateful to Jackie for her years of dedication and expertise.”

Comments (6)

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8:51am Sun 5 May 13

fletch12107 says...

The retirement age and state pension benefit is in place for a reason and that is to allow people to leave their jobs and create a space for youngsters to set off on their working future and get experience. If we all stay in our jobs till we drop dead then a whole generation will be dependant on benefits and have no base to build upon.
The retirement age and state pension benefit is in place for a reason and that is to allow people to leave their jobs and create a space for youngsters to set off on their working future and get experience. If we all stay in our jobs till we drop dead then a whole generation will be dependant on benefits and have no base to build upon. fletch12107

11:03am Sun 5 May 13

luckygirl says...

What you say is true. I'm torn as I think that if someone is healthy enough and capable to work beyond retirement age, they should be allowed to but on the other hand they are taking away jobs from younger people - not just school leavers but people in there 30s and 40s. Where I work during a recent round of redundances one colleague in his 40 was made redundant yet another colleague who 69 was kept on - she only does what she wants to do as at her age she is entitled to do that- her words.
What you say is true. I'm torn as I think that if someone is healthy enough and capable to work beyond retirement age, they should be allowed to but on the other hand they are taking away jobs from younger people - not just school leavers but people in there 30s and 40s. Where I work during a recent round of redundances one colleague in his 40 was made redundant yet another colleague who 69 was kept on - she only does what she wants to do as at her age she is entitled to do that- her words. luckygirl

12:17pm Sun 5 May 13

d_2da_ougle says...

talk about a bad case of ageism and what a load of **** about taking jobs away from youngsters this woman is a example of good old fashion work ethics and plus how many of us have complained about crap nurses she clearly is a example of everything that used to be good with the nhs a proper old school nurses i would rather have one of these nurses then 10 crap younger ones.
talk about a bad case of ageism and what a load of **** about taking jobs away from youngsters this woman is a example of good old fashion work ethics and plus how many of us have complained about crap nurses she clearly is a example of everything that used to be good with the nhs a proper old school nurses i would rather have one of these nurses then 10 crap younger ones. d_2da_ougle

2:03pm Sun 5 May 13

fletch12107 says...

d_2da_ougle wrote:
talk about a bad case of ageism and what a load of **** about taking jobs away from youngsters this woman is a example of good old fashion work ethics and plus how many of us have complained about crap nurses she clearly is a example of everything that used to be good with the nhs a proper old school nurses i would rather have one of these nurses then 10 crap younger ones.
The government are already compulsory extending the amount of time that we have to work to get the state pension and the more people that continue working until they die will leave a legacy for future generations that will have disastrous effects on this country. Just because this lady is old does not make her a good nurse (but I am sure she is) and if she needed to do something in her retirement then there is a massive voluntary sector she could have joined.
[quote][p][bold]d_2da_ougle[/bold] wrote: talk about a bad case of ageism and what a load of **** about taking jobs away from youngsters this woman is a example of good old fashion work ethics and plus how many of us have complained about crap nurses she clearly is a example of everything that used to be good with the nhs a proper old school nurses i would rather have one of these nurses then 10 crap younger ones.[/p][/quote]The government are already compulsory extending the amount of time that we have to work to get the state pension and the more people that continue working until they die will leave a legacy for future generations that will have disastrous effects on this country. Just because this lady is old does not make her a good nurse (but I am sure she is) and if she needed to do something in her retirement then there is a massive voluntary sector she could have joined. fletch12107

11:18pm Sun 5 May 13

Shelley1498 says...

I worked at Orsett Hospital for 16 years and remember Jackie, she was, and I'm sure still is, brilliant at her job! In answer to Fletch - I agree there is a lot of unemployment out there, but lots of these people don't want to go into the likes of Nursing and similar professions, they just want a high wage for working as few hours as possible! Many congratulations to you Jackie and long may you keep going!
I worked at Orsett Hospital for 16 years and remember Jackie, she was, and I'm sure still is, brilliant at her job! In answer to Fletch - I agree there is a lot of unemployment out there, but lots of these people don't want to go into the likes of Nursing and similar professions, they just want a high wage for working as few hours as possible! Many congratulations to you Jackie and long may you keep going! Shelley1498

12:14pm Mon 6 May 13

d_2da_ougle says...

mate old nursing u clearly have no idea of the breed were talking here
mate old nursing u clearly have no idea of the breed were talking here d_2da_ougle

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