Pam bids community nursing fond farewell after 30 years

Pam Lacey from Sprowston has retired after 30 years of service.

Pam Lacey from Sprowston has retired after 30 years of service. - Credit: NCH&C

A dedicated nurse who went "full circles" from trainee nurse to trainer of its future generation has bid farewell after more than three decades in the job.

Pam Lacey said farewell to colleagues at Norfolk Community Health & Care on Friday after 30 years of service, 20 of which was as a registered nurse and ward sister of its neurological rehabilitation unit.

Mrs Lacey, 56, started nursing on January 31 1983 as a pupil nurse having enrolled into the Broadland School of Nursing, which was based at the time at Woodland House,  the current NCH&C's headquarters. 

The Sprowston resident said she knew nursing was the profession for her "right from being tiny" and started as a bank nurse, taking shifts as a district nurse in the community.

The mum-of-two began working at Caroline House which became the regional neurological rehabilitation unit treating patients with brain injuries.

She became one of the ward sisters taking on a new role as clinical educator three years ago.

Mrs Lacey said: "It's that care for people and being able to make a difference in their lives. Not only looking after the patients, within the team you are looking after the whole family.

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"Being part of a community trust you have time for patients, you have time to care. Things are busy and yes times are rough and with the pandemic the pressure has never been greater.

"You get to know your patients and get to know the families and you have the privilege of working with them in their homes."

Having seen three groups of nursing students qualify as nursing associates, she says it feels she has gone full circle as she retired on Friday.

On her first official day of retirement, she was looking after her first grandchild, three month old Emilia, who she says she is sure will be taking up lots of her time in future. 

Mrs Lacey said: "There have been many Christmases, many holidays and many birthdays I have spent on the ward working. I have spent New Years Eve working overnight, there will be family time and travelling."

She will continue her role as brown owl of the 27th Norwich and Christchurch New Catton which she has been for 32 years. 

She also plans when allowed to travel, including to New Zealand to see her son Chris as she and husband David had been unable to attend his wedding in February, watching it on Facebook Live at 2am in the morning.

Carolyn Fowler, director of nursing and quality at NCH&C, described Mrs Lacey as an "invaluable part" of the trust.

She added: "For over 30 years, she has shown dedication, compassion, and always strives to put her patient’s needs first. 

"Pam will be very much missed, but we wish her all the best for a happy retirement. On behalf of everyone at NCH&C, we want to say a huge thank you to Pam.”