Wigan nurse retires after caring for poorly children for 40 years
A Wigan nurse who has spent 40 years caring for poorly children has bade a fond farewell to patients and colleagues as she begins her retirement.
Fiona Andrews was the longest-serving member of staff at Derian House children’s hospice in Chorley, having joined when its doors opened 27 years ago.
She had previously worked on the children’s ward at Wigan Infirmary for 13 years.
After decades of dedicated care and support for families, Fiona plans to spend more time baking her famous lemon drizzle cake and on her hobby of line dancing.
She said: “I have seen lots of changes over the years.
“The refurbishment of the hospice in 2019 was a fantastic improvement; the sensory room is an amazing facility as well as the open plan messy play zone. It brightens any day when you see the children having fun.”
Fiona moved to Wigan when her family relocated for her father’s army career and she became a cadet nurse at the age of 16.
She completed her general practice training at Wigan Infirmary and specialised in paediatrics at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
She worked on Wigan Infirmary’s children’s ward for 13 years before joining Derian House in 1993.
Fiona has worked almost every Christmas Day to make it as special as possible for children at the hospice.
She said: “I will really miss the friends I’ve made, we’ve had so many fun times together and of course I’ll miss all of the children and young people.
“My proudest moments have been when I’ve been able to make a difference and improve children’s care.”
A celebratory lunch was held at the hospice as part of Fiona’s send-off, where she was showered with gifts including a vase painted by the children.
Lynn Grayson, clinical director at Derian House, said: “Fiona has been a highly respected and much-valued member of the care team at Derian, providing outstanding levels of care to all the children, young people and families whom she has supported over her long career.
“We will all miss her but we wish her every happiness for her retirement.”
Fiona has plans to visit the friends made during her career, who live all over the UK now, and has joined the Women’s Institute.
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