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Oh Carol! Nurse retires after 50 years

Oh Carol! Nurse retires after 50 years

Date of release: 21 April 2023

An “inspirational and incredible” nurse who used to arrange for patients to have weekly hair dos and keep them entertained with a pet budgie has retired after nearly half a century in healthcare.

Known as “Momma Carol”, Carol Stangroom, Staff Nurse, who worked in the Discharge Lounge at New Cross Hospital, has hung up her uniform after almost 50 years.

Latest News: Carol Stangroom solo
Carol Stangroom, who has retired after nearly 50 years in healthcare.

Now 66, Carol became a Cadet Nurse at the age of 16, training at New Cross Hospital and Wolverhampton’s former Royal Hospital and working on a variety of wards as a Staff Nurse. She then left the NHS to run the family’s former Beverley Nursing Home in Penn as Matron, where a lot of future staff worked for her.

Mum of three Carol rejoined the NHS in 2001 to work for The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) at West Park Hospital in Elderly Care and then Neuro Rehabilitation, before completing her nursing career with four years in the Discharge Lounge. 

She would have completed 50 years in nursing this August but has retired due to osteoarthritis in her hip.

“I’ve had a wonderful time and I’ve got so many happy memories,” said Carol, a grandmother, who lives in Penn. “We used to do fancy dress and decorate the wards at Christmas and I remember a surgeon once saying he couldn’t decide which uniform he preferred me in – I was dressed as Dorothy out of Wizard of Oz at the time!” 

Carol’s legacy lives on through daughter Charlotte Stangroom, who is Senior Sister in the Surgical Emergency Unit at RWT. She said: “Mum was an incredible nurse – her passion and dedication inspired me and many others.

“She dedicated her life to nursing – even taking her pet budgerigar Joey to cheer up the patients when she ran our family nursing home as Matron. She made sure the residents always had their hair done on a weekly basis and arranged regular entertainment.”

Charlotte added: “We once decorated the whole of Ward 2 at West Park like a winter wonderland, with a life-sized Santa stuffed with tights and newspaper and a grotto and presents.

“These stories are why I want to be like my mum and make her as proud of me as I was of her. If I end my career half the nurse my mum was, I’ll be very happy.”

Latest News: Carol-Stangroom team
From left: Vabita Kaur, Healthcare Assistant, Arlette Carmichael, Staff Nurse, Carol Stangroom, Michelle Carless, Senior Sister, and Dawn Guy, Healthcare Assistant.

Michelle Carless, Senior Sister, Discharge Lounge, said: “Carol was such a kind, caring and experienced nurse – her care to her patients was heart-warming.  

“Wow – nearly 50 years of being a nurse is dedication and an inspiration to others. She touched the hearts of so many patients at the worst time of their lives.  

“Carol also cared for her colleagues. She wore her heart on her sleeve and was known as Momma Carol, checking colleagues at difficult and challenging times. She was truly one of a kind.

“I cannot thank Carol enough for her support and she will truly be missed. But now it’s now time to enjoy her well-earned rest.” 

Carol intends to have lots of lunch dates with her older sister Sue, 69, and spend time at the family apartment in Majorca with husband of 40 years Chris, 65, who is a Senior Operating Department Practitioner in Head and Neck Theatres at New Cross Hospital. 

Note to Editors

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