‘I will always be a nurse’ - hospital stalwart retires after 30 year career

Director of nursing, Julia Hunt, who is retiring from the James Paget Hospital after 30 years. Pictu

Director of nursing, Julia Hunt, who is retiring from the James Paget Hospital after 30 years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

A dedicated nurse who rose up the ranks is to retire from a top role after a career lasting more than 30 years.

Julia Hunt has had 'a lot of uniforms' at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) after starting as a student nurse in 1988 rising to become director of nursing.

She will be retire at the end of March and said she has been proud to serve the community for three decades and provide "safe, efficient care".

Mrs Hunt, who was born in Great Yarmouth, said: "Every day when I pull on my uniform I am proud of what I am. I am a nurse and will always be a nurse, I still am a nurse.

"There have been many changes in my profession, but the essence of being a nurse is wanting to care for someone and providing them with safe, efficient care, it's been the same as when I joined in 1988."

She said living in her community meant she saw patients or generations of families after being with them through good and bad.

Mrs Hunt added: "Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself or your family.

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"If you only do that in any situation that will stand you in good stead."

On her way to becoming director of nursing, Mrs Hunt specialised as a palliative nurse for McMillan, and also worked as a ward sister, chief matron, deputy director of nursing before taking up the top post in 2016.

Her role has involved leading the nursing, midwifery and allied health professional teams to ensure the delivery of safe and compassionate care throughout the hospital.

It also included leading on safeguarding, infection prevention and control, vulnerable patient groups including learning disability and dementia and non-medical education, training and practice development and more.

She added she was proud of many initiatives including a scheme giving young people experience of life in the NHS.

Mrs Hunt said: "We might be a small hospital but we are the leaders in many things and we are proud of that.

"I will miss the members of staff I work with their pride and passion, their commitment and their hard work to do the right things for patients."

She said one of the hopes for the future is to see more people enter the nursing profession, especially in 2020, which marks the year of nursing and midwifery to coincide with the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale's birth.

Mrs Hunt will be passing the reins on to Paul Morris.