Sheelagh retires after 30 years

24 September 2014

A specialist nurse at Wigan and Leigh Hospice has retired after more than 30 years working here.

Sheelagh retires after 30 years

Sheelagh Pedder, 63, from Orrell joined the Hospice on August 10th 1984 when it had been in operation for less than 12 months and was based in a former vicarage in Poolstock.

She retired as a Hospice Nurse Specialist on September 11th after three decades spent caring for thousands of local people.

Sheelagh began her career with the Hospice working as a nurse in the Inpatient Unit where she spent three years before becoming a sister in the Day Hospice for 12 years. One day she was asked to temporarily help out the Home Care team - as it was formerly known - and enjoyed it so much she stayed with the team.

She said: "I'll miss the people here and the patients and their families - in fact everybody really. It's such a happy place to work that you feel like a big family and they've seen me through so many ups and downs.

"A lot has changed since I started working for the Hospice. Palliative care is now recognised as a speciality in its own right and medical advances mean that symptom control has improved dramatically.

"Back then the Hospice was nurse-led with support from Dr Silver and local GPs volunteered their time. We didn't have any fundraisers so the staff all got involved in fundraising. Then the organisation grew and grew over the years but we've still managed to keep the ethos and the philosophy of the Hospice the same which is down to good management."

Hospice Nurse Specialists care for people in the last 12 months of life and use their expertise to support those people with specialist complex needs. As professionals in palliative care they help people with life-limiting illnesses get their symptoms under control. They review a patient's emotional, social and physical needs, as well as those of their carers, and are able to refer to hospice services including day hospice, the inpatient unit, counselling and complementary therapy.

Following her retirement Sheelagh plans a holiday in New York to mark both her retirement and her partner Tony's 65th birthday. She will take some time to relax and will concentrate on mastering the saxophone.

She said: "I play the saxophone but I don't play it very well because I haven't practiced for ages so I'm going to pick that up again and spend more time with my family and friends."
Hospice Chief Executive, Alan Baron, said: "Sheelagh exemplifies what it is to be a Hospice nurse. She is so kind, thoughtful and compassionate but she is also a highly skilled clinician. Having these two qualities in abundance is rare. She has cared for literally thousands of local people over the past thirty years and we are very sad to see her leave. We are so proud of her contribution to the Hospice".


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