Wigan siblings are following in mother's footsteps in health service roles
Hospital health care is very much a Wigan family business for the Molyneaux clan with no fewer than four of its members working for the NHS.
To celebrate the National Health Service turning 70 on July 5, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust has been seeking out the “WWL Family stories” that have evolved across its three sites over the years.
And one of the most inspiring ones to come our way so far is that of Mandy Molyneaux, her two children Georgia and Max and brother-in-law Eric who between them have a massive 34 years of local experience in the NHS between them.
Mandy, bed manager at Wigan Infirmary, began her career as a clerk in the orthopaedic office back in 1999.
“I was working in a doctor’s surgery in Horwich, when a lady told me about the job and gave me an application form,” she said.
Her two-year tenure as a clerk opened her eyes to the hard work being done by medical staff, and inspired her to pursue a career in the health service.
Mandy said: “I enjoyed seeing what the nurses were doing on the ward, and it was a vocation I decided I wanted to do.”
By 2002, the mother-of-two had been going to night school twice a week and retaken several GCSEs needed to get into university, and enrolled at UCLan to study nursing. She graduated in 2005 and became an auxiliary nurse on the Aspull ward, and continued to progress to become a staff nurse, then a sister.
Since January this year, she has been bed manager, effectively making sure the whole hospital runs smoothly after dark.
“I work predominantly nights, coordinating the whole hospital. It’s not just bed managing, it’s about staffing and taking care of any problems that arise within the hospital, be it a fire or a serious fall. I have to deal with everything.
“It’s been really busy for the last few months with patients. It’s been hard, but we do the best we can.”
She added: “We work so well together, it’s like a second family.”
That second family, of course, contains several members of her actual family.
Daughter Georgia was 17 when she decided to follow in mum’s footsteps in 2011.
Mandy said: “She was at college but didn’t really like it, so she went for a temporary job in the outpatient department, which became a permanent role, then she became office supervisor.
“She is now in charge of people I used to work with way back in 1999!”
Georgia, now 25 and a mother of twins, recently embarked on a new career path as a support worker for the Macmillan, cancer charity, but is still based at the hospital in Wigan Lane.
Max, 22, has been training as an adult nursing student since 2015, and is due to qualify next September.
He is currently on placement at Chandler House on Poolstock Lane.
Mandy said: “On his first shift three years ago, he walked through the doors as I was walking out. That was a bit of a moment!”
“I am dead proud of them. I wouldn’t think Max would have been a nurse, he was always more into computers. But he wants to follow in my footsteps.”
And the family ties don’t stop there. Brother-in-law Eric also calls the infirmary his place of work, acting as a porter. But it is Mandy’s children who remind her just how much things have changed in the NHS since she first started.
“I notice now a lot of people retiring, and we’re seeing the second generation coming through. Everything is changing.
“It’s improving for the better, but it has got much busier and there is more demanding work, but it’s still a great place to work.”
And after occupying several roles over the best part of 20 years, Mandy seems content to settle into her new role as bed manager, despite it being her most challenging yet.
“This is where I’ll stay now,” she said.
“I’ve no plans to move on, I think I’ll retire in this role. It’s good to try your best for the patients.”
* Do you work in the NHS alongside family members? If so we would love to hear your story. Ring 01942 506271 or email [email protected]