AFTER 50 years working for the NHS, Pat Bryden has bid a fond farewell to colleges and friends, but it is not goodbye.
Pat, who over the years has become an NHS institution, retired from her role at Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital on June 30.
Not even a two-bus commute taking more than an hour from her Selsey home could dampen Pat Bryden’s enthusiasm for work.
“I can honestly say I have never had that Monday morning feeling. I absolutely loved my work,” she said. “I am so glad I have worked with so many lovely people. I have honestly loved my job.”
Such is Pat’s passion, just two days after saying goodbye she was back as a volunteer for the hospital’s tea bar.
She said: “I always said that when I retired, volunteering was something I wanted to do. It will be great to come back and see everyone.
“They have even promised to train me up so I can do the tea trolley, which means I will get to visit the patients.”
Over her lengthy career, Pat has seen many changes within the health service.
“The work has changed dramatically, but I have always tried to move with the times.
“The hospital has been a lovely place to work, I have honestly loved every single minute of it.”
Brian Knight, chairman of the Friends of Bognor Hospital, said: “Pat has served in various roles within the health service, mainly secretarial and clerical roles and finally serving as x-ray receptionist, a role which she presented very well.
“I always think that the first person the public sees is the lasting impression people remember of their own experience by the NHS.
“A period of 50 years in any organisation these days is something to be proud of.”
Pat was presented with a cheque for £25 from the Friends as well as gifts from her colleagues, which included afternoon tea for two at Amberley Castle and a bottle of her favourite tipple.
Pat started her career at the old Royal West Sussex Hospital in Chichester. She moved to Bognor’s hospital in 1994 and started as a receptionist in the x-ray department in 1997.