Britain’s oldest nurse, 80, finally calls it a day after an astonishing 65 years caring for others in the NHS
- Norma Newcombe started her career in 1958 but has finally retired aged 80
Britain’s oldest nurse has finally retired following a stellar 65-year career.
Norma Newcombe, 80, started working as a cadet at a hospital for babies in August 1958 and has worked with Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for 40 years.
She also worked as a full-time school nurse since 1973 but has finally decided to retire to spend time with friends and family and to volunteer at the schools where she worked as a nurse.
But modest Norma, of Wigan, Greater Manchester, said she is ‘both humbled and proud’ to have served the NHS.
Norma, pictured, celebrated her retirement with colleagues past and present and some of the children she has cared for throughout her career
She said: ‘I am both humbled and proud to serve such a wonderful institution founded by Aneurin Bevan which has serviced our country and its people, enabling them to have a better and healthier quality of life.
‘I have worked in a job I love since 1958, including 50 years as a school nurse, and have certainly seen many changes.
‘As a nurse, my main vocation was, and will always be, to care.’
Norma celebrated her retirement with colleagues past and present and some of the children she has cared for throughout her career.
She even wrote a poem for her co-workers, which said: ‘From 1973 to 2023, my journey’s end, and I’ve loved it all, every last road and bend.’
Rachel Cheetham, a community public health specialist practitioner, described Norma a ‘remarkable woman’.
She said: ‘She is the matriarch of our team and is recognised as such in our community.
‘Norma is truly a remarkable woman and has dedicated her life to care for others.
Norma Newcombe started working as a cadet at a hospital for babies in August 1958. Pictured, Norma at the start of her career as a nurse
‘I am proud to know her personally and professionally and wish her well on her retirement.’
Sharon Swift, another public health practitioner who works with Rachel, said Norma will be missed by the ‘three generations’ of families that she’s helped over the years.
She said: ‘Norma will be missed by all of the 0-19 service but we certainly wish her well with her next chapter.
‘She holds a special place in the hearts of the children and families that she has helped over the years – many for three generations.
‘Norma is a very special part of our school nursing family and is loved by all of the team for her heart of gold and her dedication to the school age population of Wigan.’
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