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Ellesmere Port couple retire from health trust after more than 80 years' combined service

Pat and Mike Bedward married after meeting at work in 1979

Mike and Pat Bedward

Pat and Mike Bedward are celebrating following their retirement from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) with more than 80 years’ service between them.

And after meeting at work in 1979, the Ellesmere Port couple also recently celebrated 35 happy years of marriage together.

Pat retired in December and Mike earlier this year.

Pat’s career began in August 1976 in Barrowmore Hospital (formerly the Barrowmore Sanatorium and Colony for Ex-Servicemen) as a nursing auxiliary.

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Her aim was to become an RGN and after training she decided to specialise in mental health nursing and qualified in 1980 at Moston Hospital as an RMN.

Pat’s career culminated as clinical lead of the Cherrybank Resource Centre in Ellesmere Port.

Pat said: “I’ve worked with some of the same people I started my career with until my retirement and I’m really going to miss the Ellesmere Port and Neston adult mental health service staff.

“We always pulled together and got through every change and challenge. They have provided support and influence throughout my life and I will miss the camaraderie.”

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Mike joined the health service in 1975 as a cadet in Deva Hospital, after giving up a promising start as a footballer due to illness - although one of his cadet jobs required cleaning the boots of the Deva Hospital football team!

At that time there was also a cross-country club, tug-of-war team and the popular Deva Social Club (situated on the current Bowmere Hospital site).

Once he turned 18, Mike became a nursing auxiliary, based in the gym assisting with rehabilitation and qualified in 1979 as an RMN working on Upton Lea (formerly Frith Ward) and rehab.

In 1985 he was seconded into the community, moving on to become one of three community psychiatric nurses that formed the Community Mental Health Team in Ellesmere Port and Neston until 2010.

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He then left the team environment and worked as a specialist health facilitator until retirement.

Mike fondly remembers two particular mentors, charge nurses Joe Penney and Harry O’Korn: “They taught me to treat people in a way that you would like to be treated, whoever they were - patient, carer or colleague.”

CWP director of nursing, therapies and patient partnerships Avril Devaney said: “I would like to thank Pat and Mike for their dedication to mental health nursing and everyone at CWP wishes them both a long and happy retirement.”

The couple have identified lots to do in their retirement, finishing jobs around the house, travel in this country and abroad, including Croatia this summer, Rome and Edinburgh.

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