Nurse steps down from King’s Mill Hospital after 45-year career

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A specialist nurse at King’s Mill Hospital who has dedicated most of her life caring for people has retired after almost 45 years of service.

Orthopaedic nurse specialist, Denise Wragg, started her nurse training in 1970 at the hospital, and after qualifying two years later, began her first job on Lister ward at the hospital before moving on to Harlow Wood where she studied for her orthopaedic diploma.

Denise says she has seen a huge changes in nursing over the years - especially with regard to uniforms.

She said: “I felt the dress code was more consistent in the early days; by wearing aprons, cuffs, belts, hats and capes we all felt like ‘proper’ nurses.

“Everything has changed for the better though, wards are more relaxed and there is a lot more communication – heaven forbid if I even looked at a consultant in the old days!”

Moving back to King’s Mill in 1995, Denise qualified as a state registered nurse and in 2002 was instrumental in helping to set up the first orthopaedic outreach service.

This invaluable service allows patients to be discharged within a few days of hip or knee surgery, returning home for rehabilitation and to regain independence with help from the orthopaedic outreach nurses.

Although looking forward to spending more time with her family, Denise will miss her friends, colleagues and patients with whom she has worked with for so many years.

She said: “It has been such an honour and privilege to be a part of the nursing profession. Providing care and comfort to patients and helping them get through difficult times has been very important to me.

Paul O’Connor, chief executive of the trust, said: “Denise has made an incredible difference to many people’s lives. She has cared deeply about her patients and ensured they all received the best quality care.

“Denise has been a person other staff enjoyed working with and her knowledge and attentiveness to patients was a valuable asset for the Trust.

“In today’s workforce, being employed at any job for that many years is a monumental accomplishment.

“We would like to thank Denise for her support and commitment to her patients and the Trust.”