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NHS clinicians retire with over 80 years of service between them
01 June 2018

Two clinicians with over 80 years’ experience in the NHS between them, took well-deserved retirements this week.

Denise Walton, a sister at Blue Bird Lodge and Dr Patrick Whitear, a consultant radiologist at Ipswich Hospital, said goodbye to colleagues past and present on Wednesday.

Dr Whitear (pictured below) retired after 43 years in the NHS, having arrived at Ipswich Hospital in 1989, while Denise is in her 40th year as an NHS employee and retired on the same day as her husband John.

Lunchtime buffets were held in honour of both with Denise’s two daughters Dionne and Nicole bringing along some of her grandchildren to join in her celebrations at Blue Bird Lodge.

Dionne said: “It’s a really emotional day. I have always known her as a nurse and she has been such a role model, being a working mum, I can’t imagine her not working.

Matron at Blue Bird Lodge, Teresa Walls, said: “Denise has been my right-hand man and my left-hand man for the last 13 years and she is an absolute inspiration to us all. She is professional, she has got the most amazing sense of humour, and her rapport with patients is second to none.

“The NHS is very much going to miss this lady and I am really going to miss her too.”

Denise said: “I came into nursing and I thought five years would be my maximum as I thought I would be bored.

“It got where I wanted to try other things within nursing and I had opportunities come to me.

“I have met some wonderful people over the years and enjoyed my job and I going to enjoy my retirement with my husband.”

At his leaving event at the hospital, Dr Whitear said: “I have had a ball. I came in 1989 and we have always got on well as a team.

“I have never regretted coming here, it has been an absolute delight.”

Consultant radiologist, Dr Steve Garber paid tribute to Dr Whitear and said: “Not many careers last for 43 years and I can’t think, going forward, many people will have that type of career.

“Patrick will be terribly missed by us all.  He is a really steadying influence in the department.

“It truly is the end of an era and we wish Patrick much luck in his retirement.”