Marina retires after more than 30 years at Hinchingbrooke Hospital


One of Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s longest serving Nurses, who started her career in 1984 only a year after the hospital opened, retired this week.

Marina Howlett has provided care to patients on Willow Ward and Critical Care during her 36 years at Hinchingbrooke and played an integral part in setting up the Critical Care Bereavement Team in 2005, which provides support to families who have lost loved ones on the ward.

Enrolling as a Nurse in October 1984, at the Cambridge and Huntingdon School of Nursing, Marina kick started a long career at Hinchingbrooke where she has seen many changes to the hospital, including its merger with Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals to form the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.    

After two years of training at the School of Nursing and Hinchingbrooke, Marina enrolled as a Nurse on the Willow Ward, a surgical ward at the hospital (later renamed Rowan) where she spent 12 years supporting patients.

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It was in 1998 that Marina decided to take on the challenge of transferring into the hospital’s Critical Care Centre, where she has stayed ever since. During her time in the Critical Care Centre, Marina has been an integral part of the team, helping to push some fantastic initiatives and helping to provide support to newer or younger members of the team.

Perhaps one of Marina’s biggest achievements was co-founding the Critical Care Bereavement Team, “I was a founder member of the Critical Care Bereavement Team in 2005, alongside Judy Miles. We developed the service so relatives could be supported by the Critical Care Centre months down the line. From there we started the annual Critical Care Centre Remembrance Service, held to remember those who had sadly passed away.”

Marina has continued to play an active role in the wider Nursing team at Hinchingbrooke Hospital by becoming the ward’s Sepsis Link Nurse and also being part of the Bereavement, End of Life and Organ Donation Link Nurse Team.

After working her last shift at Hinchingbrooke Marina said, “Today has been a strange day. My last working shift as a Critical Care Nurse at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Today I retired after 36 years in the Trust, 22 of those years in Critical care. I’ve worked with some outstanding nurses and doctors over the years, it truly is a family. I’ve had terrible shifts and good ones, I’ve cried and I’ve laughed. However, it has been an honour and a privilege to have worked at Hinchingbrooke and with you all.”

Sister Samantha Clayton-Roberts of Hinchingbrooke’s Critical Care Centre said, “I have known and worked with Marina for 15 years now, as a Team Leader. I was delighted to have her in my team as she was proactive and always up beat. Over the years, together we have faced lots of challenges from moving to a new unit, becoming paperless and general changes in practice, which I can say Marina has taken in her stride.

Marina has been a valuable member of the team, supporting not only junior staff but myself on my career pathway and I thank her for all she has done. I hope Marina enjoys retirement, with all that she has achieved she deserves it, but she will be missed especially for her guidance and sense of humour.”