TODAY marks the end of an era in mental health care in Chester.
After 50 years of working to better the lives of the hundreds who have come under his care, mental health nurse Stan Murphy, 66, is retiring.
Stan, of Dicksons Drive, began his career as a cadet nurse in Chester at the tender age of 15.
He worked his way through the system and now performs electro-convulsive therapy.
He said: “I've had a great time. I've seen the change from a 2,000-bed hospital to the Bowmere.
“When I started in 1959, there were 1,800 patients and 10% of them had been there for 30-40 years.
“With community care and new drugs coming on the scene, we've got it down to 90-odd beds in Bowmere and we set up a major rehabilitation programme in the 1960s.”
Stan will continue to give lectures at the University of Chester to give future mental health professionals the benefit of his vast knowledge.
He met his wife when she too was a nursing cadet, aged 16 and now has a son and daughter and six grandchildren to keep him busy.
Stan commenced his career as a cadet nurse at the former Deva Hospital and qualified as a registered general nurse at the Chester Royal Infirmary and the City Hospital.
Later he served for four years as Mental Handicap Services Manager at the Manor Hospital, Great Sutton.
He has coincided his retirement with the launch of his latest book, The Doctors, The Dictionary and The Deva.
He describes the work as a tribute to the men and women who, in one way or another, have contributed to the development and expansion of mental health services in Chester.
It can be bought at www.cc-publishing.co.uk, priced £9.95.