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“Heart of gold” Jane retires after 48 years

“Heart of gold” Jane retires after 48 years

Date of release: 28 April 2023

An “empathetic” nurse with a heart of gold who baked treats for colleagues is retiring after 48 years in healthcare.

Jane Byrne, Senior Staff Nurse, had been with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust for 26 years, working on Appleby Suite from its opening in April 2010 until her retirement on 31 March.

It’s all a far cry from when Jane started her nurse training on January 10, 1975 at Gloucestershire Royal Infirmary, now Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Latest News: Jane Byrne retirement team
Jane Byrne surrounded by her colleagues at her retirement party

After qualifying in 1978, Jane spent three years at the former Runwell Hospital near Chelmsford in Essex, where she trained to be a Mental Health Nurse. She returned to Gloucestershire – where she had her two children – for seven years as a Staff Nurse specialising in day-case surgery and theatres.

The young family moved to Wolverhampton as her then husband got a job as a nurse teacher at New Cross Hospital. Keen to establish herself and gain new experiences, Jane spent nine years in private healthcare as a Staff Nurse at The Nuffield Hospital in Tettenhall, where she looked after various Wolves players.

But she loves the NHS and found her calling with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) at New Cross Hospital and settled there as a Staff Nurse, working in the Beynon Centre for 13 years before transferring to Appleby.

“It’s been brilliant and I’m going to miss it terribly, but it’s time to go,” said Jane, 66. “When I started there were no computers and now you can’t live without them, and there have been so many advances in medicine.

“I shall miss all my colleagues because the team on Appleby is amazing, but I’ll pop in from time to time to bring them some shortbread because I love baking for them.”

Jenny Walters, Senior Operating Practitioner and Team Lead in the Treatment Room at RWT, has worked with Jane for more than 25 years. 

She said: “Jane has a heart of gold – she’s very empathetic towards the patients, a good worker and very reliable. 

“She’s a very good communicator which is really important because a lot of patients spent time under local anaesthetic and it is key to be there for them.

“There’s been lots of laughs and tears. I made a speech at Jane’s retirement and said ‘When I came to work here, if it was not for the love and understanding from Jane and the team, I don’t think I’d be here now.”

Now she’s retired, grandmother of five Jane, who lives in Featherstone, can enjoy cooking, gardening – she’s currently growing peas and beans – and crafts, such as crocheting and knitting. 

“I’m always doing something – I rarely sit still!” said Aston Villa fan Jane.

Jane is also hoping to go on more motorhome journeys with her partner Brendan, with trips to Cornwall and France planned – ideal times to use her retirement gift of a picnic hamper.

The healthcare bug has been passed from Jane to daughter Kirsty, 37, who is a Psychiatric Nurse in the Community based in Cannock working for the North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, while Bedford-based son Ricky, 39, is an electrician who once installed the cabling for Sky TV at Villa Park.

Notes to Editors

  • For more information, please contact Tim Nash on 07714 741097 or email   tim.nash2@nhs.net
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