One of Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s longest-serving employees is retiring.
Julie Maddocks will retire next week, after an incredible 34-year career at the hospital – from its first night in 1983 to the recent merger with Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals to become part of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.
Now working as Lead Specialist Screening Practitioner in the Bowel Cancer Screening Service, Julie worked her first shift at Hinchingbrooke on Willow Ward, the hospital’s gynaecological ward (later renamed Rowan).
Her first shift was on Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s very first day and since then she has seen many changes.
Previously a nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Julie transferred to the county hospital when she heard about the plans to open Hinchingbrooke.
She said: “The first night was really quiet. We didn’t have many patients in; we were still waiting for them to be transferred from the county.
“Working here felt like being in a family. A lot of the staff transferred from the county hospital so it felt a bit like moving house. It was lovely, so friendly.”
From the opening to the merger, Julie has seen a lot of changes at Hinchingbrooke: “I have seen everything here, all the changes,” she said. “It’s bigger and it’s got busier and it’s been challenging at times.
“I remember when they had smoking on the wards… That was just awful!”
She continued: “We are here for the patients and the local people love Hinchingbrooke. It’s a very local hospital and people help raise money for us. It is like a family here. I walk down the corridor and know so many people.
“Working in gynae and breast surgery, I got to know a lot of people and looked after them over the years. That was my passion. It’s why I like working in bowel screening.
“Hinchingbrooke is my local hospital. I have lived here for a long time and my family have lived here. The people that I work with here and in Peterborough are really nice and I have lots of good relationships.
“There are so many good things at Hinchingbrooke but I don’t think we are always that good at singing our own praises.”
She added: “I will be coming back for a couple of days, so I’m gradually weaning myself off. It feels like the right time for me to retire. I’ve been working here full-time for 20 odd years. It’s going to be a big change but it’s time for somebody else. I feel like I’m part of the fixtures and fittings.”