Staff Honoured For Long Service

Janet Winter Lynn Woods and Karen McGowan
DEDICATED TRIO: (from left) Lynn Woods, Karen McGowan and Janet Winter

Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, The Bay City Rollers had a #1 album and post-it notes and liposuction had just been invented when Janet Winter began her career with the NHS.

In the 41 years since Janet has married, had a family and witnessed incredible changes in her work life.

The Head of Clinical Quality (Acute Contracts) gave up a “huge” wage of £11 a week working for Sainsbury’s in 1974 when she left to become a student nurse at the Derby School of Nursing at the former Derby Royal Infirmary site in London Road.


She worked across a variety of specialisms, rising through the ranks as Staff Nurse, Community Nurse, District Nurse Sister, Primary Care Nurse Co-ordinator, then worked as Clinical Governance Manager for a former primary care trust (PCT) before joining us when clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were first set up in 2013.  

Janet said: “When I first started as an 18-year-old student nurse it was very different and I spent many hours in a back room sterilising equipment and polishing bedpans but that would never happen now!

“People in caring professions have a higher profile these days with much better opportunities for training and education.

“It was very hierarchical when I began my career and when I was on a ward the Sister ruled!

“There’s a lot more individual accountability and decision-making involved now, which is a good thing for the nurses and the patients.”

Janet is not the only one to have spent years building up her expertise. She was honoured for long service alongside colleagues who between them have clocked up an astounding 502 years with the NHS.

They included staff with 20, 30 or 40 years’ or more service:

Suzanne Berry, Medicines Management Pharmacist - 20 years

Amanda Biggam, Assistant Head of Clinical Quality - 24 years         

Kate Brown, Director of Planning and Primary Care Development - 25 years

Tina Brown, Locality Manager - 21 years

Vanessa Griffiths, Planning and Primary Care Head of Planning - 29 years

Linda Hunter, Assistant Chief Finance Officer - 22 years

Philippa Shreeve, End of Life Quality and Development Manager - 23 years

Christine Urquhart, Planned Care Senior Improvement Manager - 25 years

Jane Yeomans, Head of Commissioning for Older People - 28 years

Mick Burrows, Head of Joint Commissioning - 28 years

Lorraine Sutton, Personal Assistant/Office Manager - 24 years

Diane Harris, Antimicrobial Pharmacist - 37 years        

Alison May, Management Accountant - 34 years

Karen McGowan, Deputy Chief Nurse & Deputy Director of Quality - 32 years

Lynn Woods, Chief Nurse and Director of Quality - 37 years

Presentations of long service certificates to staff were made by Andy Layzell, Chief Officer of NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, at a presentation at Derby Enterprise Park.

Lynn Woods, Chief Nurse and Director of Quality, had 37 years of service honoured.

She began her work life as a 17-year-old live-in trainee nurse at the Nottingham School of Nursing, going on to be a registered nurse, staff midwife, midwifery sister, health visitor, then going into management and senior management roles at various hospitals and at Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust before joining the CCG in her current role.


Lynn said: “It was overwhelming as a teenager to be dealing with death and dying patients and caring for seriously ill patients who’d had major surgeries.

“I’d be working on ‘Nightingale’ wards, with long rows of beds down either side of the room where there was very little patient privacy, if at all!

“But there was a real sense of community because long-term patients would help us serve tea to the other patients on the trolleys that would be pushed around.

“And it wasn’t just tea that was served as there used to be stout and sherry on offer!

“It goes without say that improvements in technology and equipment have been vast so there’s so much more we can do now to help people.

“And the best thing about working for the CCG now is that we can really respond to patients’ experiences to improve care.

“Even if it is an experience of just one person, we can feed it into the way we work to make sure we are delivering the right care, at the right time, in the right way.

“Our membership of 56 GP practices means doctors inform and shape our decision-making and they’re ideally placed to know what health issues are really out there and what we can do to help our patients the most.”

Karen McGowan, who joined the CCG in January this year, qualified as a registered general nurse in Birmingham in the 1980s and worked as a night sister, emergency nurse practitioner in community hospitals and minor injury units, and training lead for a PCT before moving into planning, organisational development and head of governance for clinical commissioning groups

Karen is now Deputy Chief Nurse and Deputy Director of Quality.

She said: “I was about 12 years old and visiting my grandfather in Dudley Road Hospital when I first knew I wanted to be a nurse.

“I was fascinated by the way each nurse was doing something slightly different with no obvious, visual plan and yet the ward worked together as a whole.

“My parents were obviously aware of my fate as I still have a small dressing up nurse’s uniform from when I was about five years old!

“I wanted a career where I could help people and I believe that’s the same for everyone coming to work for the NHS today – that hasn’t changed.”

Andy Layzell said: “It’s really nice to be able to personally thank our long-serving staff for their hard work and for making a difference to the health of local people.

“That’s why we’re all here and the long-term commitment of these staff is worth celebrating.”